The 2014 Oklahoma legislative session kicked off two weeks ago Monday, with an income tax cut, reduced agency budgets, repairing the state Capitol, and employee compensation all facing lawmakers as they return to NE 23rd Street and Lincoln Blvd. in Oklahoma City.
A Republican House member from Oklahoma City is proposing an adjustment to the state's tax on oil and natural gas production that would benefit companies that hire Oklahoma workers.
Rep. David Dank proposed a compromise on Thursday that would set the gross production tax rate for all oil and gas wells between 2 percent and 6 percent, depending on how many full-time workers each producer employs in Oklahoma.
State leaders expect a $170 million shortfall. This year's budget was just half a percent larger than five years ago, without adjusting for inflation. And projections estimate a deficit of up to $2 billion by 2035.
Cutting income taxes. The state's been here before, and quite recently.
"The [Oklahoma] Supreme Court threw the legislature a lifeline by striking down 2032," said Oklahoma Policy Institute Director David Blatt at the organization's budget summit last week.
As passed, House Bill 2032 would have cut the state income tax to 5 percent in 2015 and 4.85 percent after that. The state Supreme Court threw it out in December because it also provided money for capitol repairs.
An attorney with a long track record of successfully challenging legislative actions as unconstitutional is taking aim at a bill to cut the state's income tax and fund repairs to the crumbling Capitol.
Oral arguments were held Tuesday before a referee for the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Attorney Jerry Fent claims the bill is unconstitutional because it violates a provision of the state Constitution that requires bills to embrace only one subject.
A lawsuit by an out-of-state company that challenges a tax break on capital gains for Oklahoma-based businesses is causing some concern at the state Capitol.
An analysis on the potential costs of a tax reimbursement show Oklahoma could be on the hook for as much as $480 million if the court rules in favor of tax payers.
Republican State Rep. Jeff Hickman raised the issue during questions on a tax cut bill approved by the House last week. But budget negotiators said any repercussions of the capital gains issue should be worked out apart from the state budget.
The Republican leaders at the State Capitol gathered in the Blue Room Tuesday to announce what they’re calling major agreements on several key proposals before lawmakers this session.
Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) each took turns describing the plan to cut state income taxes, change the workers’ compensation system and repair the State Capitol.
State Question 766 passed in November 2012, and eliminated the tax on intangible property: business licenses, trade secrets, company logos, things with value beyond their physical traits. Five months later, a new estimate predicts the impact could be double that, and administrators are wondering what it means for their districts.
State Question 766 passed in November 2012, and eliminated the tax on intangible property: business licenses, trade secrets, company logos, things with value beyond their physical traits. Before the election, the state Tax Commission estimated 766 would mean revenue losses of around $30 million for Oklahoma public schools.