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July 9, 2013

Attorney maintains tax cut bill unconstitutional

OKLAHOMA CITY —

An attorney with a long track record of successfully challenging legislative actions as unconstitutional is taking aim at a bill to cut the state’s income tax and fund repairs to the crumbling Capitol.

Oral arguments were held Tuesday before a referee for the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Attorney Jerry Fent claims the bill is unconstitutional because it violates a provision of the state Constitution that requires bills to embrace only one subject.

But Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Dan Weitman says the measure deals entirely with “managing the tax code,” since the money earmarked for Capitol repairs comes from income tax collections.

Besides cutting the state’s top personal income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, beginning in 2015, the bill also diverts $120 million to pay for repairs.

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