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Economists Tout Importance of Okla. Income Tax (Nov 17, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Two of Oklahoma's leading economists told a panel looking to overhaul the state's tax code that an attempt to abolish the personal income tax could have dire fiscal consequences for the state.

University of Oklahoma Department of Economics chairman Alexander Holmes told the panel Thursday that to even propose abolishing the state's income tax is "willful ignorance."

Another economist - Oklahoma State University Regents Professor Emeritus Larkin Warner - warned the panel that the income tax is a critical component of the state budget and that other major revenue sources are overextended or volatile.

Oklahoma's individual income tax makes up about one-third of all state tax collections, and Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and the GOP-led Legislature has endorsed further slashing the rate.

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