Proposed income tax cut could impact education funding

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Reported by: Sharon Phillips
Updated: 4/25/2013 5:28 pm Published: 4/25/2013 4:14 pm

FOX23 looked into how a small cut to the state income tax rate could impact state funding.

FOX23's sharon Phillips found it will mean more money in your paycheck, but less inside children’s classrooms.

John Waldron is a social studies teacher at Booker T. Washington High School. Because his job and his students are greatly affected by what state leaders vote on Waldron pays close attention to decisions made at the state capitol.

“What a cut in the state income tax will do I'm afraid will leave less money available for education."

Education as a whole has been suffering from budget cuts since 2008. Schools are working with $200 million less than they had before, which leaves students and teachers hanging in the balance.

"Something like 40% of teacher salaries comes out of the state budget, state income taxes. If we eliminate that source of revenue then it's hard to see where we make it up elsewhere," Waldron says.

The income tax reduction plan would drop the rate from 5.25 percent, to 5 percent starting in 2015, that would reduce state revenue by $237 million.

FOX23 asked Waldron why state leaders would choose to reduce revenue when they have not put money back into education.

"You got me. We've been sitting on big piles of money for years and we've refused to add money back into education," Waldron answered.

As leaders battle out the details in Oklahoma City students at Booker T. Washington continue to see their class numbers rise and their funding slip away.

Personal income tax makes up the biggest chunk of revenue in the state budget. If the plan goes through the average taxpayer would see an extra $80 a year.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

pen25 - 4/26/2013 2:56 AM
0 Votes
BTW what we will see is a reduction in income taxes but a major increase in sales taxes and fee's dont be fooled by the politico's and think a .25% decrease will save anything in the end. the state will get theirs. and those politico's will not reduce their pay

pen25 - 4/26/2013 2:53 AM
0 Votes
say it aint so? they want to cut taxes yet take up a bond or take 100 million over the next 2 to rebuild the capitol building.
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