Sen. Kenneth Corn and Rep. Bud Smithson announced that they had filed legislation to help ensure Oklahoma workers would keep more of their hard earned dollars. Senate Bill 1132 would exempt most overtime pay from state income taxes. The lawmakers unveiled the measure at a State Capitol press conference on Monday.
“We’re talking about a tax break that will make a meaningful difference to the many Oklahomans and their families who work hard, but still live paycheck to paycheck,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “If they keep more of their overtime pay, it’s money that’s going to go straight back into the local economy for food, groceries, clothing and other necessities. It’s a win-win proposal.”
SB 1132 would provide a state income tax exemption for overtime pay required by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Corn said this would apply to most employees who are paid by the hour. The legislation would not apply to employees exempt from the FLSA overtime mandates, including executives, professionals or administrative employees.
“Too many tax cuts approved here in Oklahoma and in Washington D.C. seem to benefit the wealthy more than anyone else,” said Smithson, D-Sallisaw. “There are thousands of Oklahomans who put in overtime just to try to make ends meet, but see much of that taken away in taxes. This bill simply lets them keep more of what they earn and do more for themselves and their families.”
The lawmakers said they had filed a companion measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 43, calling on Congress to enact similar legislation at the federal level. Both measures will be considered when the 2008 legislative session convenes in February.