Claremore Daily Progress

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May 13, 2013

UPDATE: Fallin signs bill to slash income tax rate in 2015

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

“We’re cutting revenues and we know that there will be several bills to pay down the road,” said Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, one of two Republicans who opposed the bill in the Senate. “We’ve got a higher education bond issue that will go on for 15 years. We’ve got common education needs.”

But Republican leaders have maintained that cutting taxes will encourage businesses and industries to move to or expand in Oklahoma, boost the state’s economy and ultimately lead to even greater revenue growth.

“The way you grow an economy is by letting hard working people keep more of their hard earned money,” House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, said in a statement. “By lowering the income tax rate, we are attracting skilled and educated workers to our state and making Oklahoma a leader in business and economic growth.”

The new law also diverts $120 million in income tax revenue over the next two years to a fund set up to pay for improvements and repairs to the Capitol, which has yellow barricades erected outside the building to keep pedestrians from walking near where pieces of its limestone facade have crumbled from the building.

Some members argued that the separate provision in the new law could lead to a legal challenge because the state constitution requires bills to address only one subject.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged several bills approved by the Legislature as unconstitutional, vowed to file a legal challenge with the Oklahoma Supreme Court once the legislative session ends.

“I’ll file an application and petition to declare House Bill 2032 unconstitutional,” Fent told The Associated Press on Monday. “It’s a clear violation of the constitution.”

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