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New Income Tax Cut Plan Emerges In Okla. Senate

A fiscal analysis of the revised bill shows it would result in $65.7 million in lost revenue to the state in fiscal year 2015 and $169 million in FY 2016 when fully implemented. Mazzei said the cut would result in savings of about $80 for the average Oklahoma family, or $40 for an individual taxpayer.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said the governor is still reviewing all the changes to the bill and declined to immediately discuss the revisions.

Senate Republicans have maintained that delaying the cut would allow legislative leaders to boost funding this year for some pressing state needs, most notably spending on public education.

Democrats, who are outnumbered in both the House and Senate, have been consistently opposed to any effort to reduce the income tax, claiming it takes away revenue needed to pay for critical state services like education, public safety and transportation.

"We believe investing in education does more to grow the economy than giving $40 back to an individual filer," said House Democratic Leader Rep. Scott Inman, D-Del City.

With less than eight weeks remaining before the end of the session, Inman said the growing divisions between the House and Senate could spell trouble for a tax cut plan, similar to what happened during the 2012 legislative session.

Last year, Fallin proposed a bold initiative to slash Oklahoma's top income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 3.5 percent, reduce the number of income tax brackets from seven to three, and offset much of the lost revenue by eliminating various deductions and exemptions. But that proposal fell apart in the waning days of the session after lawmakers balked at getting rid of popular deductions and couldn't agree on how the cut would be implemented.

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Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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