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Okla. could soon eliminate state income tax

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Next time you get a pay check, the number at the bottom could be a little different. The Oklahoma Senate has voted to pass a bill that would eliminate our state’s income tax. The bill was passed by a majority on Monday.

The senators who voted for this bill say it would do a lot to put money back in the pockets of Oklahomans.

Those opposed say it could financially break our state.

Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, (D) Tulsa, says, “I’d like to say for the voters who go along with this, it’s like the chickens supporting Colonel Sanders.”

State Sen. Eason McIntyre is upset about the passing of Senate Bill 1571.

The measure would eliminate Oklahoma’s income tax gradually over the next 10 years.

Sen. Clark Jolley, author of the bill, says, “The goal behind this bill is simply to reduce the reliance on income tax and give people more money of their own.”

Sen. Jolley and almost every republican senator voted in favor of the bill.

Republican Sen. Harry Coates was the only republican opposed.

He, along with every Democratic Senator, voted no.

Eason McIntyre says, “I don’t think it’s their intent, but the long-range projection is we will be like a third world country than a productive growing state.”

Eason McIntyre says this bill is nothing more than a political ploy that has no plan for how to replace the money the state would be losing.

Therefore, she says, it would take money away from many state-funded services that are already strapped for cash.

She says, “People are going to suffer and that’s the side that the well-meaning author of this bill doesn’t seem to see.”

Jolley admits the state would initially take a cut.

He says, “We are absolutely able to figure out how state government can live within its means.”

But he says eliminating the income tax would draw people, jobs, and in turn, money to our state.

Jolley says the bill does contain a provision to protect tax credits, deductions and exemptions from those with a public pension, those on social security and those with military benefits.

The bill now moves on to the House for further consideration.