Gov. Fallin pushes income tax cut at Tulsa chamber event

April 16, 2013

The Tulsa World

By Randy Krehbiel

Gov. Mary Fallin thinks there will be room in the upcoming state budget for both an income tax cut and more spending, including a boost for common education.

"We have to prioritize spending," she said Monday evening after attending a Tulsa Regional Chamber event at Southern Hills Country Club.

Earlier, Fallin met with the state House and Senate Republican caucuses and told them to focus on "big ticket" items on her legislative agenda. A cut in the personal income tax rate seems to still be at or near the top of that agenda.

Fallin said a "reasonable, affordable" tax cut would help in business recruitment. "It helps Oklahoma have an advantage," she said.

When it was mentioned that only a few days ago the Tulsa Chamber had indicated very little enthusiasm for a tax cut, Fallin smiled and said a tax cut and more money for education are both possible through growth revenue and savings realized through government consolidation and modernization.

She said the most commonly mentioned increase for common education is $75 million.

Fallin said she also urged legislative leaders to continue moving forward on workers compensation reform and pension reform.

The session must adjourn no later than the last Friday in May.

"I stressed that when we get close to the end of the session, we have to all pull together," said Fallin.

She said Monday's meeting had been scheduled for some time and did not reflect impatience with the Legislature on her part.

Fallin spoke briefly to Tulsa's Future, a regional economic development initiative funded through "investors," including the Tulsa World. During her remarks to the group, she recapped business recruitment and retention activities of the chamber and her administration.