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Okla. House panel approves income tax cut bills

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A pair of bills to slash Oklahoma's top personal income tax rate have been approved by a House committee, despite objections from Democrats that the measures will take away revenue for critical state needs.

The House Appropriations Committee late Monday approved both measures. If approved by the House Calendar Committee, both measures will next be heard on the full House floor.

One bill by House Speaker T.W. Shannon would reduce the top personal income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent, beginning in 2014. The other measure by House Appropriations Chairman Scott Martin would drop the rate to 4.99 percent. Both tax cuts would cost the state about $120 million annually when fully implemented.