Slightly more than half Oklahoma's taxpayers should see decrease in personal income taxes, figures show
Oklahoma Tax Commission estimates show 54 percent of the states 1.6 million taxpayers would pay less in personal income taxes if a proposed personal income tax-cutting plan becomes law. Lawmakers will consider the plan next week, the final week of the session.
Slightly more than half the state's taxpayers would be paying less in personal income taxes for the 2013 calendar year if a proposed income tax-cutting measure is passed and signed into law, information developed Friday by the Oklahoma Tax Commission shows.
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Tax Commission figures show 54 percent of the state's 1.6 million taxpayers would pay less in personal income taxes if legislation reducing the top personal income tax rate of 5.25 percent down to 4.8 percent becomes law. The change would take effect Jan. 1, 2013; taxpayers would see the difference when they file their tax returns in 2014.
Twenty-one percent would see no change, and 24 percent would receive less money back from the state, Tax Commission figures show. Most of those are taxpayers with a federal adjusted gross income of less than $15,999; the most a taxpayer would not get back from the state is $10.
A taxpayer with a federal adjusted gross income $10,000 to $11,999 would get $49 back instead of $59. The results indicate those actually receiving a tax cut would be far less than legislative leaders indicated when announcing their proposal Thursday evening.
“We're very confident, that a large, large majority of almost across the board that every income level will see a good decrease in taxes and more money in their pockets,” said Sen. Mike Mazzie, R-Tulsa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Gov. Mary Fallin's communications director defended the tax plan Friday; 75 percent of taxpayers would see either a decrease or no change in their taxes, said Alex Weintz, Fallin's communications director.
“We do think it's a significant tax cut,” he said. “We're happy with the deal we struck with the House and Senate.”
House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, issued a statement Friday saying the tax plan is irresponsible.
“Under this plan, there will be many Oklahomans who will see virtually no change, a small group who will see a tax cut and there will most likely be a group who sees their taxes increase,” Inman said.
“Those people who see an increase will effectively be paying twice, because less income tax revenue will undoubtedly mean less money for core services such as education, roads, bridges, and public health that benefit all Oklahomans.”
House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, made reference to the Tax Commission calculations when presenting the proposal, contained in House Bill 3061, to the House of Representatives General Conference Committee on Appropriations. Members advanced the bill; it now goes to the Senate General Conference Committee on Appropriations.
It's expected the House could hear it on the floor Tuesday; approval there would send it to the Senate. Lawmakers are required to get their work done by May 25.
Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, asked Steele whether the tax plan is an unconstitutional tax increase for many Oklahomans. The plan would not result in a change of taxes for many, but for 400,102 taxpayers or about 25 percent filing returns, it would serve as a tax increase, according to estimates provided by the commission.
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