Thursday, March 1, 2012

10-year income tax phase-out plan receives committee approval

Proposal now sponsored by nearly one-third of the state House

A proposal to phase out Oklahoma’s personal income tax over 10 years has cleared another important hurdle and continues to gain momentum.
            House Bill 3038, which is still a work in progress, was approved Wednesday in a vote of the state House Appropriations & Budget Committee.
            The measure also gained additional support, as it was announced that eight more members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives have signed on as co-authors of the bill.
            That amounts to HB 3038 having 31 total authors in the state House — nearly one-third of that legislative body. The coalition includes lawmakers from all four quadrants of the state, from rural, urban and suburban areas.
            “It’s very encouraging that so many of our colleagues in the Legislature are eager to support the effort to dramatically enhance Oklahoma’s appeal to job creators and to all citizens by allowing them to keep more of the fruits of their labor,” said Rep. Leslie Osborn, a member of the coalition supporting HB 3038.
            “What brings us together is we all want to put Oklahoma on a path to long-term economic prosperity by incentivizing widespread private-sector expansion across our state, across industries. We are confident this will lead to robust job growth for current and future generations of Oklahomans.”
            HB 3038 would repeal Oklahoma’s progressive personal income tax without necessitating increases in other tax rates or cuts in funding to core government services.
            Were Oklahoma to eliminate its personal income tax without raising or expanding any other tax rates, the state would have the lowest overall tax burden in the continental United States.
            “When you consider the many other positive reforms Oklahoma has made in recent years, like becoming a Right-to-Work state and phasing out our death tax, and then add in one of the lowest tax burdens in America, it’s fair to say we would have one of the top business climates of any state,” said Rep. Tom Newell, another author of the legislation.
            HB 3038 would phase out the state personal income tax through a process of simplifying the tax code, making modest reductions in wasteful, inefficient and non-essential state spending at the outset of the phase-out process, and utilizing growth revenue from other sources as Oklahoma’s private sector grows in response to the state’s dramatically improved tax climate.

The 31 House authors of HB 3038 are, in alphabetical order:

Rep. Don Armes, Faxon
Rep. Gus Blackwell, Goodwell
Rep. David Brumbaugh, Broken Arrow
Rep. Josh Cockroft, Tecumseh
Rep. Marian Cooksey, Edmond
Rep. Lee Denney, Cushing
Rep. David Derby, Owasso
Rep. George Faught, Muskogee
Rep. Randy Grau, Edmond
Rep. Elise Hall, Oklahoma City
Rep. Corey Holland, Marlow
Rep. Mike Jackson, Enid
Rep. Dennis Johnson, Duncan
Rep. Sally Kern, Oklahoma City
Rep. Dan Kirby, Tulsa
Rep. Guy Liebmann, Oklahoma City
Rep. Mark McCullough, Sapulpa
Rep. Randy McDaniel, Oklahoma City
Rep. Lewis Moore, Arcadia
Rep. Glen Mulready, Tulsa
Rep. Jason Murphey, Guthrie
Rep. Tom Newell, Seminole
Rep. Charles Ortega, Altus
Rep. Leslie Osborn, Mustang
Rep. Mike Reynolds, Oklahoma City
Rep. Phil Richardson, Minco
Rep. Mike Sanders, Kingfisher
Rep. Sue Tibbs, Tulsa
Rep. Steve Vaughan, Ponca City
Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, Moore
Rep. Harold Wright, Weatherford

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