The Norman Transcript

Government

March 12, 2013

State Senate approves income tax reform bill

NORMAN — The full Senate has given approval to legislation that would reduce the state income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent.

Senate Bill 585 by Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, and Sen. Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso, would be fully effective in tax year 2015 and would cut income taxes by $250 million while enabling increased funding for core services like education. The measure was approved 33 to 13 on Monday.

“The key is reforming ineffective and obsolete tax credits and preferences to ensure that we not only protect resources for core state services but actually grow our economy and increase our tax base,” Mazzei said. “These reforms mean we can lower income taxes and improve education funding, creating an environment that will help us attract new businesses, new jobs and raise personal income.”

SB 585 would target more than 30 obsolete tax subsidies for elimination or reform while protecting most tax preferences for low-income individuals, senior citizens and members of the military.

When fully implemented, it is estimated that nine out of 10 Oklahoma taxpayers would see a tax reduction or no change at all.

“Because of those reforms, our tax cut legislation not only protects resources for education, but actually will result in additional funding,” Brinkley said. “This approach is critical to overall efforts to make our state a place that will attract companies offering high-paying jobs. It’s a winning proposal for all of Oklahoma.”

SB 585 now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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