A state senator said he was very surprised when he first heard Senate Democrat leaders taking credit for an increase in the state’s standard deduction, because for years Senate Democrats have blocked Republican efforts to raise the standard deduction for Oklahoma taxpayers.
“Senate Democrats killed my bill to increase the standard deduction during the 2006 regular legislative session, so I was surprised to hear them take credit for this issue in the historic tax cut agreement,” stated Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond.
Jolley said after some quick research and discussions with other Republican senators, he found that Senate Democrats have been blocking GOP efforts to increase the standard deduction for years.
“I looked all the way back to 1998, and found that Senate Democrats have killed at least one Republican bill to increase the standard deduction every year,” he said. “The record shows that Senate Republicans have tried and tried to increase the standard deduction, but we were opposed by the Democrat leadership year after year.”
Jolley said he believes Senate Democrats are claiming support for increasing the standard deduction as a matter of political expediency.
“Now that Democrats are feeling the heat of the growing Republican membership in the Senate, they are trying to use this tax fairness issue to advance their misleading class warfare message. In reality, we could have increased the standard deduction a decade ago, but Senate Democrats are the reason it didn’t happen,” Jolley said.
The standard deduction for the income tax is used by tax filers who do not itemize their income tax deductions. Increasing the amount of the standard reduces the tax burden for taxpayers who use the standard deduction.