Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tax-related measures continue through legislative process

Tax issues continue to be extremely important topics for our constituents and continue to gain a lot of attention every session as we try and find ways to reduce costs for our citizens without having to make any drastic cuts or ignoring our core functions. This year we’ve seen a large number of bills reach both the House and Senate floor to look at several types of taxes. Please note that the bills listed below are by no means final, and many will be changed from their current format.   

Recently, the House passed House Bill 1716, which repeals the Oklahoma franchise tax imposed on corporations doing business in Oklahoma. Currently, we are reviewing Senate Bill 341 which would repeal the provision for levy of franchise tax. The belief is that both of these measures will encourage economic opportunity and that even more businesses will find their way to Oklahoma

There has been a large amount of legislation regarding the state income tax that has moved to the Senate after passing the House. House bills 1348 and 1357 would repeal tax exemptions for business enterprises engaged in rearing specially trained and exempt the value of any prize or award won by an individual in the Olympic Games. We also have passed House Bill 2032 which would lower the top marginal individual income tax rate from 5.25 percent to 5 percent.

House bills 1612 and 2232 will allow donations to be made to two brand new foundations for an individual or corporate income tax return form. The Hearts for Hearing Revolving Fund is a new foundation that would provide hearing health programs for adults and children that offer auditory-verbal therapy. The second foundation created is the Constitutional Challenge Litigation Cost Revolving Fund in order to defend constitutional challenges to Oklahoma Statutes.

House Bill 1919 allows for foster care expenses to be deducted from an individual’s income tax with a $2,500 cap for individuals and a $5,000 cap for married couples. The belief is that these deductions will see an increase in foster care families and an increase in donations to these truly important funds.

Senate bills regarding income tax have also come to the House and are being decided on in the weeks to come. Senate bills 166 and 167 repeals tax credits for installation of energy equipment or for certain qualifying investments and deductions for certain gains from sale of property. Senate bills 323 and 585 modify the time period in which various tax preferences can be claimed or utilized.

Lessening the tax burden your family feels is important to me, but I also want to be responsible with every dollar that the state deals with. I believe our state can be just as effective with restrained, measured and controlled taxes, while making sure services like Education, Transportation, and Public Safety are properly funded. We have a spending problem in this country and I will work hard to ensure that Oklahoma’s tax code is reformed for the better.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at (405) 557-7349, or email me at

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