Capitol Report Notebook: Flat tax
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Sunday, January 13, 2013
1/13/13 at 3:17 AM
State Sen. Patrick Anderson filed legislation last week to scrap the state's income tax system and replace it with a flat 2.9 percent tax.
"The bottom line is if you replace our current system with a flat tax, then all taxpayers are treated equally," Anderson said.
Democrats wasted no time criticizing the plan, saying it would increase the tax burden of low- and middle-income Oklahomans.
"It may be revenue-neutral to the state, but it's devastating to the poor, to the disabled, to veterans and to retirees," said House Democratic leader Scott Inman of Del City.
As written, the bill would do away with all tax deductions, exemptions and credits.
Non-partisan elections: Republicans will take another run at nonpartisan county elections this session. Rep. Josh Cockroft, R-Tecumseh, has filed pieces of legislation to do so for sheriff elections and all county offices.
Republicans are particularly keen on nonpartisan county elections because they see it as a gateway to eliminating Democrats' last stronghold - county offices in southern Oklahoma.
Peters returns to Capitol: Former state Rep. Ron Peters, who championed child welfare and protection issues during his 12-year career in the House, has been hired as a legislative consultant by the Tulsa County Child Protection Coalition.
Peters, a Tulsa Republican, will be joined by attorney April Merrill, formerly of the Schusterman Foundation.
The Child Protection Coalition includes 22 area child welfare organizations and governmental organizations, ranging from the Tulsa Police Department to the Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa.
Workers compensation: State Sens. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, and Josh Brecheen, R-Colgate, spent part of last week in Arkansas studying the state's workers compensation system.
Workers compensation reform is near the top of the agenda for the coming session, and Arkansas is a model for reducing costs.