Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signs tax cut measure

Oklahoma House Bill 2032 reduces the top state income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent on Jan. 1, 2015. Taxpayers would first see the effect of the tax cut in 2016, which is estimated to save the average taxpayer $82 per year.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: May 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm •  Published: May 14, 2013
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Backers of the tax cut said about 62 percent of the state's 1.6 million tax filers would see a benefit by paying less in income taxes. None would see an increase.

Estimates by the Oklahoma Tax Commission show that the 2015 tax cut would save the average taxpayer $82 per year and cost the state an estimated $136 million annually when fully implemented.

Altogether, the savings for the average taxpayer would be about $143 per year and cost the state about $237 million a year when both cuts are fully implemented, according to the Tax Commission.

Critics, mostly Democrats, have said the tax cut is irresponsible because of needs of common education and higher education, a waiting list for services for people with developmental disabilities, overcrowded and understaffed prisons and raises for state workers.

HB 2032 also directs finance officials to allocate $60 million during the 2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1, into a newly established revolving account for Capitol repairs. The first work is expected to repair the crumbling exterior. Pieces of limestone have been falling the past two years from the building's exterior.

Work is expected to start in late summer or early fall.