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Oklahoma State Senate

Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: February 1, 2005


Sen. Jay Paul Gumm

Senate Democrats Welcome Henry Tax Plan;
Vow to Seek Lower Taxes for Working Families

Five days after introducing their own plan to lower taxes and provide incentives for business growth, Senate Democrats Tuesday praised Governor Henry for offering his own tax proposal and vowed to work with the governor in an effort to make a better tomorrow for Oklahoma’s children.

Assistant Majority Leader Jay Paul Gumm said the finished legislative product “doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition.” Gumm, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, is author of the Helping Oklahoma Prosper Economically or HOPE Plan unveiled by Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and other Senate Democrats Thursday.

“As is often the case, it’s likely that the final legislation will incorporate portions of the HOPE Plan and Governor Henry’s proposal. I look forward to working with the governor as we seek to make tomorrow better for our children,” said Gumm, D-Durant.

Gumm said lawmakers will need to balance efforts to lower taxes for working families and expanding business incentives with responsibly protecting the state’s investment in public schools, healthcare and other important programs that improve the quality of life for Oklahomans.

Three elements of the plan Governor Henry announced Tuesday are included in the HOPE Plan. Those include a back-to-school sales tax holiday, reducing income taxes for retirees and eliminating capital gains on Oklahoma based property for corporations.

The two plans also have their differences.

The HOPE Plan includes lowering taxes for every Oklahoman by increasing the standard deduction for the first time since 1971 and increasing Quality Jobs payments for companies whose suppliers locate in the state.

Henry’s plan includes a tax rebate proposal and extension of the estate tax exemption to collateral heirs. The issue of extending the estate tax exemption to collateral heirs is something that bears further scrutiny, Gumm said.

“There is considerable merit to the Governor’s tax rebate plan, but I also believe we need to address the issue of reducing income taxes for working families. That is part of our plan because working families are the heart and soul of Oklahoma and we must do all we can to ensure they have every opportunity to make a better tomorrow for our children.”

For more information contact:
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774

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