“(Senate Democrat leader Mike) Morgan said legislators will have to be cautious about tax cuts the next four years. ‘We can't get tax-cut crazy. And when we come back next year, we need to think about what we've done this year’.” – Reported in The Oklahoman, June 16, 2006.
Senate Republican Leader Glenn Coffee said that comments made Thursday by the Senate’s Democrat leader make him concerned that Senate Democrats may try to block parts of a historic tax cut agreement next year.
“My fear is that when Sen. Morgan says ‘we can’t get tax-cut crazy’ and says ‘we need to think about what we’ve done this year,’ he is signaling liberal activists that Senate Democrats will block parts of the tax relief from taking effect if they retain control of the Senate,” said Coffee, R-Oklahoma City.
Coffee said the bulk of the tax relief package is being phased-in over four years. If Democrats are the majority in the State Senate, they could pass legislation to stop the later phases of the tax cuts from taking effect.
“The full package of tax cuts will put $6 billion back into taxpayers’ hands over the next decade, which can lead to unprecedented economic growth for Oklahoma,” stated Coffee. “But if Sen. Morgan and the Senate Democrats hedge on this commitment to historic tax relief, it would strike a major blow to our state’s economy.”
The budget agreement announced Thursday includes the following tax relief:
- A reduction of the state income tax from 6.25% to 5.25% over four years.
- An increase of the state’s standard deduction to the federal level over four years – an idea that was opposed by Senate Democrats when former Gov. Frank Keating proposed it.
- The elimination of the death tax over three years.