The state income tax would be cut to 4 percent from 6 percent over three years under legislation introduced Monday afternoon by State. Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta.

House Bill 445 would increase the state sales tax to 5 percent from 4 percent and eliminate a number of tax breaks, including Delta Air Lines’ for aviation fuel purchases. The state income tax would go to 4.5 percent next year; 4.25 in 2017; and 4 percent in 2018.

Some observers saw the legislation as a way to build support for the plan to increase transportation funding, but House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who appeared with Carson at a press conference, said he saw no connection between the two proposals.

“They’re separate measures, first of all,” Ralston said. “They’ve been working along sort of different tracks. I don’t know if there’s any real relationship.” 

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