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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin doesn't favor delay of income tax cut

Gov. Mary Fallin said she opposes postponing any reduction in Oklahoma's personal income tax rate from taking effect later than Jan. 1. Fallin said she wants to help make up for the loss of income Oklahomans are facing due to the end of a two-year federal payroll tax cut.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: April 11, 2013

State Treasurer Ken Miller, writing in his most recent Oklahoma Economic Report, said cutting the income tax and financing repairs to the Capitol and other buildings in the Capitol complex could be accomplished this session.

“The Legislature could pass a bill to lower the income tax, but move the effective date forward by 12 months,” wrote Miller, a Republican. “By dedicating the revenue that would have been lost with earlier implementation, the Capitol project could be financed without debt or costly delay. This approach may appeal to those who want to address Capitol repairs without debt but also want to lower taxes on Oklahoma families.”

Miller was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but his spokesman, Tim Allen, said the treasurer's preference is both to cut taxes and fund repairs this year. His proposal is a possible compromise, Allen said.

Fallin and GOP legislative leaders last year sought to cut the personal income tax rate, but lawmakers, after sorting through five income tax-cutting measures, couldn't agree on two compromise bills in the last days of the session. Fallin is calling for a smaller cut this year, and proposed reducing the top rate to 5 percent. Her proposal called for it being paid out of existing revenue, which would have cost about $120 million a year when fully implemented.

MICHAEL MCNUTT, Capitol Bureau