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Group rallies for lower taxes

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A group demanding lower taxes rallied at the state Capitol Wednesday to press their demands for reform in the state's tax code.

"Why don't us taxpayers get a break," Ed Jantzen of Lawton said as a group of conservative lawmakers described their attempts to reduce taxes through legislation.

Rep. Bill Graves, R-Oklahoma City, said lawmakers have granted $3,000 annual pay raises for teachers and $2,000 raises for state
workers this year.

"I think we need tax cuts -- a pay raise for the taxpayer," Graves said.

"We have one party that's afraid to change things," Sen. Mark Snyder, R-Edmond, said in a reference to the Democrat legislative
majority. "All they're interested in is power."

About 50 people, most of them elderly retirees, appeared at the Capitol's south steps for the rally. Some carried signs stating "Equal Tax For All Retirees" and "Stop Unfair Property
Assessments."

Sen. Carol Martin, R-Comanche, said state revenues grew by $500 million this year but that Republican tax cut proposals have had
trouble in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

"They don't want to give your money back," Martin said. "Why can't we give some of your tax dollars back?"

Snyder said he sponsored a bill this year that would have eliminated income taxes on retirement income.

"It was never heard," he said.

Jantzen said the idea for the rally was born at last month's 4th District Republican meeting.

"Everybody talks about taxes. I hear a lot of complaints," he said.

Jantzen said the anti-tax group is interested in tax cuts across the board.

"Because of the growth revenue, the people need relief," Jantzen said.
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