Oklahoma Capitol news briefs

Oklahoma Capitol news briefs for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.
by Randy Ellis Published: January 18, 2014

Capitol news briefs

Republicans seek tax cut

Republican lawmakers have introduced bills that would gradually cut Oklahoma's top income tax rate to 4 percent within four years. Oklahoma's top individual income tax rate currently stands at 5.25 percent. Legislation was adopted last year that would have cut the tax rate, but it was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Senate Bill 1849 and House Bill 3291, filed this week, propose to lower that rate to 4.75 percent on Jan. 1, 2015; 4.5 percent on Jan. 1, 2016; 4.25 percent on Jan. 1, 2017; and 4 percent on Jan. 1, 2018. “Economic growth and principles of limited government continue to be held back by our relatively high income tax rate,” said David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, lead Senate author of SB 1849. “And the problem is even more acute now that we find ourselves in an income tax sandwich between Texas, which has no income tax, and Kansas, which has lowered its rate below ours.”

Switzer joins board

Barry Switzer, former head football coach for the University of Oklahoma and the Dallas Cowboys, has been appointed to the board of directors of the state agency assigned to develop the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. The partially built and financially troubled museum is located on the Oklahoma River, just east of downtown Oklahoma City. Also appointed to the board were Ron Sparkman, chief of the Shawnee Tribe, and Bob Burke, a well-known Oklahoma author and attorney. “I can't think of a more worthwhile project than this cultural center for the people of Oklahoma and our visitors,” Switzer said in a news release.

by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau 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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