In light of the nearly $1 billion state budget shortfall, the head of the state Senate Finance Committee is now maybe we shouldn’t go through with that income tax cut after all.
Sen. Mike Mazzei is proposing a repeal of the tax cut that took effect this month. State Democrats have been saying this for months. But Maizee is a Republican.
Maizee filed Senate Bill 1073, which said that the tax cut would be voided if it became “effective during a fiscal year when a revenue failure is subsequently declared."
“My initial inclination would be for doing that, I’m not saying for sure I would vote that way,” said Sen. Ervin Yen. “We’ve got a billion dollar shortfall and maybe a whole lot more than that. Why not? If we do it I don’t think Oklahoma taxpayers would get ticked off at us.”
Yen serves with Mazzei on the Senate Finance Committee. He's also a Republican.
The notion of not going through with the tax cut contradicts what Republicans have been saying about repealing the tax increase that would add up about $147 million dollars.
Gov. Mary Fallin argued that is only "a little more than 10 percent of the projected budget hole. It's a fact, the state would still have over an $800 million budget hole even if that tax cut hadn't taken effect."
Sen. David Holt echoed that Tuesday.
“Repealing the tax cut doesn’t fill the hole, doesn’t even begin to fill the hole,” said Holt, R-Oklahoma City.
Holt said he doesn't believe Oklahomans would support the repeal, that for the median Oklahoma family results in about $29. Instead, he called the tax cut a distraction from the real issue: which is the state doesn't have a proper savings account to deal with a very predictable crisis
“We’ve had a century of living in an energy economy and somehow failed to appreciate how energy prices dramatically rise and fall,” Holt said.
Holt is also proposing legislation to dramatically increase that savings when times are good.