The Norman Transcript

State/Region

June 30, 2013

Tax cut, capitol bill to take effect

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahomans won’t see an income tax cut for another 18 months, but the bill that paves the way for the average Oklahoma tax filer to save about $80 per year in state income taxes is one of more than 70 bills that take effect on Monday.

The measure, a key part of Gov. Mary Fallin’s agenda and supported by Republican legislative leaders, also diverts $120 million in state income tax collections over the next two fiscal years to pay for a major overhaul of the nearly 100-year-old state Capitol that houses the Oklahoma Legislature and several other state agencies.

The first income tax cut takes effect in January 2015, dropping the top rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent. A second cut to 4.85 percent is scheduled to take effect in 2016 if certain revenue collection triggers are met.

The bill calls for $60 million in income tax collections to be diverted from the state’s General Revenue fund in the fiscal year that begins Monday and another $60 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2014, to pay for repairs.

The building has been plagued for years with sewage and electrical problems, and access to the south side of the building has been blocked with bright yellow barricades to prevent pedestrians from walking beneath where pieces of the building’s limestone facade have fallen.

“The Capitol building is an important symbol of our state and the plan I signed into law will provide the necessary funding to repair and restore the people’s house,” Fallin said in a statement.

A separate bill that also goes into effect on Monday calls for the creation of a new nine-member Long-Range Capital Planning Commission to oversee the repairs to the Capitol. The panel also will be charged with developing an eight-year plan to address the needs of other state assets, including recommending certain state properties that should be liquidated.

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