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Conservatives cheer as Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce supports ‘Shannon-Fallin tax cut’

By   /   March 21, 2013  /   3 Comments

By Patrick B. McGuigan | CapitolBeatOK

OKLAHOMA CITY – A representative of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce told CapitolBeatOK the group supports an income tax cut

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A spokeswoman for former state Rep. Fred Morgan, now president of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, says the organization supports the state House version of income tax reduction. Photo by Pat McGuigan

proposal advanced from the House to the Senate.

Responding to the news, the state’s leading advocate of income tax reductions said the Chamber’s position is “encouraging and exciting.”

In response to questions from CapitolBeatOK, spokeswoman Jennifer Monies said the Chamber supports House Bill 2032 “in its current form.” Monies works for the group’s president, former state Rep. Fred Morgan.

H. B. 2032, sponsored by House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, would reduce the state’s personal income tax rate to 5.00 percent, down from its present 5.25 percent rate.

Monies sent CapitolBeatOK, via email, the Chamber’s formal policy on income taxes: “Support a gradual reduction of personal income tax, provided that the tax burden will not be shifted onto business, valuable economic development incentives will be protected and core state services will not be underfunded.”

Elaborating, Monies said Shannon’s legislation “meets all of those criteria with a gradual reduction in the rate without cost-shifting to business. On the others, we are waiting to see how they shape up as they get closer to finalization.”

Support for H.B. 2032 does not necessarily imply opposition to competing proposals, as Monies explained, “Traditionally, we haven’t taken a position on any of the proposals until they are in a more finalized form because they are constantly changing and evolving and get caught up in budget negotiations anyway.”

The Senate has its own tax reform measure, and sent to the House a proposal to lower rates and include some changes in exemptions and deductions.

The Chamber’s position on H.B. 2032 was immediately applauded by the state’s leading free market public policy think tank.

“The importance of this is that (Gov.) Sam Brownback succeeded with his income tax cut last year in Kansas because the state’s business community was the biggest voice behind tax cuts,” said Michael Carnuccio, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA).

“To have the Chamber backing the governor and the speaker is an important, encouraging and exciting development in this year’s debate over tax reduction. It is reason for hope, that the business community and the conservative movement now are aligned, to back the Fallin-Shannon tax cut for 2013,” Carnuccio concluded.

You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan, Oklahoma City bureau chief  for the Watchdog.org network, at Patrick@capitolbeatok.com and follow us on Twitter: @capitolbeatok.

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Patrick B. McGuigan is bureau chief for the Oklahoma City Bureau of Watchdog.org, and works from the press room at the state Capitol. He is also the editor of CapitolBeatOK, and Associate Publisher of The City Sentinel newspaper. In 2013, The Washington Post blog “The Fix” designated Pat one of the best reporters in Oklahoma. In addition to the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists, where he serves as state secretary-treasurer, Pat is a member of the National Press Club and the Tulsa Press Club.

  • Huxley99

    We know what the Chamber thinks. What about other voices?

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.bennettanderson Matthew Bennett Anderson

    Just ask the folks in Kansas about their tax cut, which has directly led to a significant revenue shortfall and more budget cuts. In addition, they face an expiration of a temporary sales tax, which was put in place to help with the last revenue shortfall they faced. Kansas is also facing a court-ordered increase in public educational funding.

    Brownback is proposing offsetting some of this revenue shortfall with the elimination of some deductions and exemptions, like the home mortgage interest deduction. You know, the deductions that most benefit the middle class.

    Yep, we ought to be like Kansas. It’s a race to the bottom.

  • SixSixSix

    Humans need not apply to contribute to this discussion. Your money will be taken, and not theirs.