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Conditional tax cut based on Oklahoma revenue becomes law

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a conditional tax cut bill calling for a gradual reduction in the state’s top income tax rate from 5.25 to 4.85 percent.
by Randy Ellis Published: April 29, 2014

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a conditional tax cut bill Monday calling for a gradual reduction in the state’s top personal income tax rate from 5.25 to 4.85 percent.

The two-tiered tax cut is designed so that increases in the state’s general tax revenues must take place before the tax cuts will take effect. Tax year 2016 is the earliest Oklahomans could see a tax cut under the new law.

“This is a responsible, measured tax cut that will make Oklahoma more economically competitive while providing much-needed tax relief to working families,” Fallin said in a news release. “If Oklahoma wants to attract and retain good jobs – rather than losing them to neighboring states – we must improve our tax climate. I am proud that the Legislature has taken action to do so and I am happy to sign this bill into law.”

The new law will reduce the top personal income tax rate from 5.25 to 5 percent in tax year 2016 or later. The first tax cut will kick in as soon as annual general revenue fund collections are greater than projected fiscal year 2014 collections.

If revenue growth continues, a second reduction would take place, lowering the top rate to 4.85 percent once state revenue increases are sufficient to cover the cost of the additional reduction. The earliest the second reduction could take place is two years after the 5 percent rate is enacted.

“This tax cut will put more than $200 million annually into the economy and make Oklahoma a better place to do business, meaning more opportunities and jobs for Oklahoma families and more revenue for core government services,” Fallin said.

The governor’s office noted that Senate Bill 1246 affects Oklahoma’s top income tax bracket, which applies to individuals earning more than $8,700 a year or couples earning more than $15,000 a year.

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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