February 4, 2013 / 9:56 PM / in 5 years

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin calls for cut in top income tax rate

OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin on Monday called for a cut of a quarter percentage point in the state’s highest income-tax rate in her “State of the State” address to the legislature.

Fallin joins other Republican governors this year in proposing cuts to their state income taxes. The governors of Nebraska and Louisiana have proposed eliminating income taxes altogether. Ohio Governor John Kasich on Monday asked for cuts in both the state’s income tax and sales tax rates.

Oklahoma’s income tax generates about 30 percent of its revenue. Fallin’s proposal would cut the highest rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent and would represent a cut of about $40.7 million in fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1, the governor’s office said.

A year ago, Fallin sought a complete overhaul of Oklahoma’s tax system, including slashing the top rate by nearly half, but the legislature failed to pass any tax cuts, even though it is overwhelmingly Republican.

Fallin, now serving the third year of her first gubernatorial term, said she remains committed to lowering taxes in Oklahoma now and in the future, saying the state has to compete against its neighbors for jobs.

“I‘m serious about lowering taxes,” she said.

The Oklahoma House since 2004 has been controlled by Republicans, who hold a 72-29 majority this year. The Oklahoma Senate has been held by Republicans since 2008 and now has 36 Republicans and 12 Democrats.

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