Monday, February 13, 2012

Cockroft Column: The Governor’s Tax Reform Plan

Rep. Josh Cockroft
I was very excited by the tax reform plan that Governor Mary Fallin unveiled in her State of the State address. It would reduce the number of tax brackets to three and completely eliminate the income tax for those Oklahomans in the bottom tax bracket, married couples making less than $30,000 a year or an individual making less than $15,000 per year. Married couples making between $30,000 and $70,000 would pay 2.5 percent and the married couples making more than $70,000 a year would pay 3.5 percent.

The governor’s plan would create a revenue trigger for future cuts. Every time revenue grows by a certain percentage, the tax rate would drop by a quarter of a percent. I do not think the trigger is necessary. We simply need to continue to make responsible cuts.

Now it is up to lawmakers to pay for the plan. We are going to have to eliminate a lot of wasteful spending to pay for the plan, which would take effect on January 2013. It is critical that we eliminate nonessential services and focus spending on core services such as education, public safety and roads and bridges. There are also a number of ideas on how we can reduce costs to our corrections system, without hurting the quality of service.

One thing that is not on the table: property tax increases or an expansion of the sales tax. We will not raise taxes to cut taxes – period.

I look forward to updating you throughout the 2012 session.

If you have questions or need information, please contact my office at or (405) 557-7349. Rep. Cockroft is on Facebook and on Twitter, @votecockroft27.

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