Governor doesn't favor delaying state personal income tax cut
Delaying any reduction of the state's personal income tax for a year is not an option, even if the money saved by not implementing the cut for a year would go to repairing the state Capitol, one of her key priorities, Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday.
The GOP governor said she is willing to consider various options by the Republican-controlled Legislature to lower the state's top personal income tax rate of 5.5 percent, but she opposes postponing any reduction from taking effect later than Jan. 1.
“My preference is that we still are able to give some relief to our taxpayers right now,” Fallin said. “People in Oklahoma have seen their paychecks cut because their Social Security taxes went up. People in Oklahoma have less money in their pocketbooks and one of the ways that we can help relieve some of that is to give them a tax cut this year.”
The two-year reduction in the payroll tax — which funds Social Security — was allowed to expire in January as part of negotiations with the president and Congress over federal budget cuts. Nearly 2 million workers in the state have smaller paychecks because of the expired tax cut.
A Senate committee last week changed Fallin's personal income tax-cutting proposal and replaced it with a new plan. Among other things, it would delay the income tax cut until Jan. 1, 2015, a year later than Fallin proposed.
House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, who carried Fallin's proposal in House Bill 2032, has said he also supports having a tax cut take effect in 2014.