Saturday, December 09, 2023

Bergstrom files bills to create a pathway to zero income tax, enhance administrative rules oversight

Bergstrom files bill to create a pathway to zero income tax

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 7th) - On Wednesday, Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, filed Senate Bill 1228, a measure that would outline a pathway to eliminate the Oklahoma state income tax. This significant proposal aims to alleviate the burden on hardworking Oklahomans and spur economic growth by fostering job creation within small businesses.

"Personal income tax punishes work, hindering both individuals and businesses from reaching their full potential.” Bergstrom said. “Senate Bill 1228 charts a course toward the gradual elimination of the state income tax, all while implementing safeguards to ensure that essential revenue for public services remains intact."

The proposed legislation recognizes the critical role small businesses play in job creation and economic development. As most small business profits are taxed as personal income, reducing the state income tax is expected to empower these businesses to expand and generate more employment opportunities.

The proposed pathway to eliminate the state income tax is designed to be methodical and cautious, safeguarding against unintended consequences while aiming for a more business-friendly environment.

SB 1228 can be considered when the legislative session begins on February 5, 2024.

Bergstrom files bill to enhance rule oversight

OKLAHOMA CITY (Dec. 5th) - On Monday, Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, filed Senate Bill 1217, a critical initiative aimed at fortifying oversight and accountability within state agencies. SB 1217 would establish a robust mechanism for systematically reviewing all new rules and those already on the books by creating the Administrative Rules Division within the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency (LOFT).

Once approved, permanent rules carry the weight of law, potentially influencing the daily lives of Oklahomans. The proposed legislation seeks to ensure that every rule serves the best interests of the people, reminding bureaucrats that their primary duty is to the citizens of Oklahoma.

"Senate Bill 1217 is a crucial step in safeguarding the well-being of Oklahomans by putting in place a rigorous process for reviewing and evaluating new and existing rules,” Bergstrom said. “We must ensure that these rules serve the people, not burdening them with unnecessary complexities or additional expenses."

The legislative proposal establishes the Administrative Rules Division within the Legislative Office of Fiscal Transparency, focusing on aligning the rule-making process with legislative intent. By creating a structured framework for rule evaluation, the bill aims to enhance transparency, efficiency, and accountability in the implementation of laws.

Rep. Gerrid Kendrix, R-Altus, is the House principal author of the bill.

“It's incredibly vital that the state agencies funded by Oklahoma taxpayers are routinely subject to performance evaluations to ensure they are being held accountable to our citizens," Kendrix said. "We must establish a new process to assist in this process by using the resources currently available to us, and LOFT is well-equipped to handle this need."

SB 1217 can be considered when the legislative session begins on February 5, 2024.


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