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OKC Chamber Of Commerce Talks About Tax Increases For Education

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Amid demands from teacher and state employees that would raise taxes, some Oklahoma lawmakers fear doing so will only drive revenue away.

Business leaders say that's not true and that there's more to the story.

As protests at the Capitol continue, lawmakers and some advocates are holding firm to no new taxes. Their fear is that new taxes will mean no new business. 

One of the loudest voices is former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn who called tax increases destructive, namely the taxes on capital gains, writing last week, "capping itemized deductions and imposing capital gains taxes hurt crucial efforts to diversify Oklahoma's economy."

But business leaders in the state's largest city say it simply isn't the case. 

"When people say cheaper is better, that's not true," said Roy Williams, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce president.

Williams is the president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. He said if anything drives companies away, it's Oklahoma's quality of life and its lawmakers. 

Oklahoma routinely ranks in the bottom on lists ranking education, health care and infrastructure. Williams says these factors play a much larger role in where companies decide to invest than the taxes levied by lawmakers. 

Democrats have been trying to push through a bill that would eliminate a tax loophole on capital tax gains, but so far Republicans say they won't even take it up.

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