tax credits

State Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville
okhouse.gov

Because of a failure to write clear laws, Oklahoma leaders say, the state paid more than $90 million to insurance companies it shouldn’t have over the past five years in the form of rebates.

The rebates were paid to insurance firms that provide workers’ compensation coverage in Oklahoma and that had paid assessments required by state law to a fund called the Multiple Injury Trust Fund.

Provided / Oklahoma Senate

The Oklahoma Senate approved two bills Wednesday designed to provide more scrutiny and oversight of some of the hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of state tax credits. Both bills by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) now go to the House for consideration.

Oklahoma State Senate

Two bills that would require stricter oversight of various state tax credits and incentives have cleared a Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee approved both bills by Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman on Tuesday. The measures now proceed to the full Senate.

A wind farm in Ellis County in western Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Representative Earl Sears, is planning to file legislation modifying tax credits and incentives used by wind energy developers.

The legislation by Sears, R-Bartlesville, would only affect new wind projects and would target three tax credits used by the wind industry: Zero Emission Energy Generation, the five-year ad valorem exemption for manufacturers and other firms, and investment tax credits,  eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley reports:

Bonnie Vculek
Enid News & Eagle

Key industry tax breaks in Oklahoma have more than doubled over the past four years and are now costing the state well over half a billion dollars a year, state records show.

The two dozen business tax breaks combined grew from $356 million in 2010 to $760 million in 2014. The 2014 figure is equivalent to just over 10 percent of the state’s $7.2 billion budget, and more than the state spends every year on prisons and public safety.

Lawmakers Search For Optimum Tax Policy

Oct 5, 2014
Oklahoma Representative Mark McCullough, Republican from Sapulpa.
Oklahoma House of Representatives

Representatives Mark McCullough and Earl Sears had one goal Wednesday during a hearing on their joint interim study: Begin the search for the optimal tax policy.

McCullough, R-Sallisaw, said each year of his legislative proposals to reduce the individual income tax or create or extend new tax credits were introduced but there was no real talk of tax policy.

Oklahoma House of Representatives

A state lawmaker says a recently released report from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce shows film rebates recently extended by the legislature are a “bad deal.”

“I recently secured a copy of an economic impact study prepared by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in April that makes it very clear that this film tax credit is a bad deal for Oklahomans,” state Rep. David Dank said Tuesday. The Oklahoma City Republican is an outspoken critic of the rebates, and called it a waste of taxpayer dollars.

June Campbell / Flickr Creative Commons

A $5 million annual rebate program that has been used to lure big budget films to Oklahoma would continue for another 10 years under a bill that is heading to the governor's desk.

The Senate voted 31-11 on Thursday for the Compete with Canada Film Act by Sen. Clark Jolley (R-Edmond).

twoshortplanks / Flickr Creative Commons

A $5 million annual rebate program that has been used to attract producers of films like last year's August: Osage County to Oklahoma would continue for another ten years under a bill that has passed a Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee voted 7-2 for the bill on Tuesday. It now heads to the full Senate, where it is expected to pass.

But lawmakers who oppose the bill say the program is a wasteful use of tax dollars.

Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican House member from Oklahoma City is proposing an adjustment to the state's tax on oil and natural gas production that would benefit companies that hire Oklahoma workers.

Rep. David Dank proposed a compromise on Thursday that would set the gross production tax rate for all oil and gas wells between 2 percent and 6 percent, depending on how many full-time workers each producer employs in Oklahoma.

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