Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 23, 2016
Sen. Mike Mazzei
Mazzei issues statement on Finance Committee passage of SB 1073
Mazzei issued the following statement after Tuesday’s
vote by the Senate Finance Committee approving SB 1073, a measure
that would delay the reduction of the state income tax top rate
from 5.25 to 5 percent and eliminates “double-dipping,”
which is the itemized deduction for state and local taxes.
“Since 2004, when I first came to the Senate, we’ve
reduced taxes by about $1.5 billion, thanks to a 25 percent drop
in the top income tax rate, the elimination of estate taxes, the
increase in the standard deduction, higher exemptions for retirement
income, fewer companies subjected to the franchise tax, and the
100 percent exemption for military.
“The fact is the bench mark of $6.9 billion to lower the
income tax rate from 5.25 to 5 percent was never actually achieved,
because the trigger was based on the December certification, not
the final certification in February the Legislature must use for
writing the budget. The General Revenue Fund is now more than $1
billion below the bench mark. Furthermore, you can’t continually
decrease taxes and also increase special interest tax breaks—these
have ballooned to $2 billion, making the current financial situation
much worse. It is unwise to lower the income tax rate in this environment.
“We are facing a shortfall of $1.3 billion. If we don’t
delay this reduction and adopt other reforms, education funding,
which makes up some 50 percent of the budget, will have to be cut
by approximately $400 million. Other core services will also be
slashed. Ultimately everyone in the state will be negatively impacted.
“As a fiscal conservative, I would much rather delay a tax
cut than vote to increase taxes and start new taxes,” –Senate
Finance Chairman Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Mazzei: (405) 521-5675