Legislation authored by state Rep. Aaron Stiles would exempt veterans and state employees from paying the state income tax.

“We talk about eliminating the income tax; well, let’s start with state employees and veterans,” said Stiles, R-Norman.

State employees have not seen a pay raise in six years while the cost of living has continued to increase.

“State employees are underpaid and underappreciated. Eliminating the income tax for them would effectively give them a pay raise,” said Stiles.

Stiles said veterans should also be exempt from paying the state income tax.

“Veterans are another group of great people who are undervalued for their service,” Stiles said. “Veterans are brave men and women who give a portion of their lives for our country. Let’s not take away their income too.”

“Our tax in Oklahoma on income is too high and state employees and veterans are undervalued. We can essentially work on both problems in this one bill, which reduces taxes and gives state employees and veterans the equivalent of a pay raise.”

House Bill 2204 would not apply to any legislator or to the governor, who are state employees, and would not exempt retirement income.