The Senate today passed legislation that would lower the state’s income tax rate to below 5 percent if the state’s economy continues to improve.
“We believe this year’s budget shortfall is an anomaly and anticipate revenue growth in the years to come as our state’s economy continues to grow. We believe the taxpayers of Oklahoma deserve to have some of that growth returned to them to spend how they see fit,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa and author of the bill. “This is a commitment we made last year to the people of Oklahoma and I am happy today we were able to give them confidence that we are keeping our word.”
Senate Bill 1246 reduces the state’s income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent as soon as our state’s fiscal environment returns to the level it was last year when the Legislature and governor first agreed to the tax reduction.
The legislation additionally mirrors language from last year’s House Bill 2032 (which was overturned by the court) that would put in place a further cut in the rate to 4.85 percent once the economic conditions and growth revenue allow for such a cut.
“We owe this to the taxpayers of Oklahoma and today we fulfilled that promise made last year,” said Sen. Kyle Loveless, who had an amendment to restore the bill’s title.
“This is a fiscally responsible proposal that keeps our commitment to the taxpayers to reduce their tax burden while also protecting core government services like education, public safety and roads and bridges with reasonable benchmarks,” said Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa, who carried the bill on the floor.
The bill passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 32-10 with the title on and now moves to the House for further consideration.