Former Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge told a legislative panel last week that the state should not eliminate its income tax without finding another revenue source.

The income tax accounts for half of all general fund revenues.

Benge, who is currently senior vice president for governmental affairs at the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, told the Legislature’s Task Force on Comprehensive Tax Reform that a lower tax rate has some merit but warned legislators to consider the effect of eliminating the tax entirely.

“If our ability to educate and train employees for a 21st century economy is damaged through lack of funding, if we can’t maintain our roads and bridges, strong health care system, robust research and technology infrastructure, and safe streets, then the benefits of a reduction in the income tax rates may be limited,” Benge said.

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