House of Representatives

House Subcommittee Approves Income Tax Reduction

2/11/2014 3:54:00 PM

Contact: State Rep. Leslie Osborn

Office: (405) 557-7333

Contact: State Rep. Tom Newell

Office: (405) 557-7372

 Contact: State Rep. David Brumbaugh

Office: (405) 557-7347

OKLAHOMA CITY – A proposal to reduce Oklahoma’s personal income tax rate to 4 percent over four years passed its first legislative hurdle Monday.

House Bill 3291, coauthored by nearly one-fourth of the members of the state House of Representatives, was approved by the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation.

“As long as Oklahoma penalizes work by charging an income tax, and other states don’t, we will be at a disadvantage for bringing jobs and opportunity to our state,” said state Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang, author of HB 3291. “With the dynamic changes Kansas is making, reducing taxes on families and small businesses, Oklahoma is in an income-tax sandwich between our neighbors to the north and south.”

“For Oklahoma to be consistently competitive, both nationally and globally, in attracting job-creators to our state, we must continue reducing our income tax,” said state Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, a coauthor of the bill. “The income tax serves as a penalty on work and productivity, which discourages individuals from generating jobs and opportunity in our state.”

“Oklahoma’s income tax reductions over the past decade have corresponded with steady growth in our state’s private-sector economy and our climate for jobs and investment,” said state Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole, also a coauthor of the legislation. “When compared with data from across America and through history, it matches up with the principle that capital tends to go where it is most welcome. This means more opportunities for families to prosper and thrive in Oklahoma.”

New research from a state-based policy organization shows Oklahoma state government tax collections have hit record highs each of the past two fiscal years. Also, Oklahoma state government spending has been at record highs for at least the past dozen years.

These trends have directly coincided with a gradual reduction of 25 percent of Oklahoma’s personal income tax rate, starting in 2005 and concluding in 2012.

If passed, HB 3291 would reduce the state’s top tax rate from its current level of 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent in the 2015 tax year. The rate would then be reduced by an additional quarter-percent each of the following three tax years, stopping at 4 percent in 2018.

The bill has 23 authors in the House, representing all four quarters of the state. They are:

Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw
Rep. Scott Biggs, R-Chickasha
Rep. Gus Blackwell, R-Laverne
Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow
Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Norman
Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Tecumseh
Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Elise Hall, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan
Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City
Rep. Dan Kirby, R-Tulsa
Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore
Rep. Mark McCullough, R-Sapulpa
Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Arcadia
Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie
Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole
Rep. Leslie Osborn, R-Mustang
Rep. Colby Schwartz, R-Yukon
Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Edmond
Rep. Ken Walker, R-Tulsa
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore
Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford

HB 3291 passed on a 10-3 vote. It is now eligible to be considered by the full House Appropriations and Budget Committee.