tax credits

Lawmakers gather in the House chamber at the state Capitol before Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Four stories that were trending or generated discussion online or on KGOU’s social media platforms during the past week.

wind turbine
Tamsin Slater / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, wants to end a federal tax subsidy for the production of electricity through wind power. The freshman Republican introduced legislation that would not allow any more companies to qualify for the tax credit after 2019.

A sales tax exemption approved in 2005 applies to electricity used in "waterflood" oil recovery projects in older fields, such as the Glenn Pool field shown above, with Sapulpa in the distance.
Oklahoma Historical Society

An obscure sales tax break authored by Oklahoma’s Senate leader is subsidizing an expensive form of enhanced oil recovery for seven companies, including the senator’s employer.

The tax break on electricity used to power old “waterflood” recovery projects was authored in 2005 by now-Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa.

The first company to apply for and receive the exemption was Uplands Resources Inc. of Tulsa. At the time, Bingman was the company’s land manager. He currently works there as vice president of land and operations.

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.

Pages