May 2, 2013

House tax bill won't help most Dorman says

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — A house bill that passed this week cutting income taxes for some will inevitably be thrown out due to unconstitutionality, according to State Representative Joe Dorman.

"It was a waste of our time to debate it," he said.

The bill, H.B. 2032 proposes two major policy changes, and constitutionally there can only be one per piece.

It lowers the top personal state income tax from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2015 and then reduces the top bracket again from 5 percent to 4.85 percent on Jan. 1, 2016 depending on revenue growth.

Dorman, who debated against H.B. 2032, said reports that it will save the average tax payer $88 a year are inaccurate. He said tax payers making between $20,000 and $40,000 a year would see no savings and those making in the $40,000 bracket - the group Dorman said he believes to be the majority of tax payers in the state - would only see a savings of between $30 and $40 a year.

"Most people won't see enough to fill up a gas tank," Dorman said.  

The bill also reserves $60 million in the 2014 fiscal year and another $60 million in the 2015 fiscal year for state capitol repairs, a move Dorman said is ridiculous.

"Just to assume we will have no other expenses in the future is irresponsible," he said.