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Oklahoma House panel rejects income tax-cutting proposal

A House budget subcommittee fails to pass a bill that would have reduced Oklahoma's top personal income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent. The proposal called for reducing several business tax credits and personal deductions.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: April 2, 2013

A legislative panel soundly rejected a bill Monday that depended on reducing several business tax credits and personal deductions to cut Oklahoma's top personal income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent.

The action by the House of Representatives budget subcommittee on revenue and taxation leaves a simple income tax reduction backed by Gov. Mary Fallin and the House as the only remaining measure remaining to reduce the personal income tax rate.

The subcommittee voted 11-2 not to pass Senate Bill 585.

Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, the subcommittee chairman and author of SB 585, said it still is possible that parts of the measure could be revived later this session. However, the strong margin of defeat for the bill makes it unlikely.

House Bill 2032, by House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, is scheduled to be taken up Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee.

HB 2032 is not dependent on reducing or eliminating any tax credits or exemptions or deductions. It would be paid out of available revenue.

Some of SB 585 would have been paid out of available revenue, but it also would have eliminated more than two dozen tax deductions and would have eliminated or amended numerous income tax credits.

It also would change or eliminate several individual taxpayer deductions, including a child-care tax credit, which would be limited to those with incomes under $50,000, and the personal exemption.

Several lawmakers said SB 585 was too similar to measures that failed to win approval last year.


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