by Jan Largent
At our November Advocacy Meeting, taxes were an issue that we decided to focus on.
Look at the bills below. I would like to encourage you to call this weekend and leave messages for your legislators specifically about HB 2621 and SB 407. There could be a vote on Monday.
Evidently the passage of HB 2355 could help low income people when buying cars (Paula Sanford wisely pointed that out to me), but it is more money out of the system.
I have a hard time opposing HB 2502, but again, it is more money out of the system, and I personally think it would be better to put more money in the classroom across the board as opposed to the tax credit.
Remember, when you call, you are presenting yourself. Only the state board and board president can represent the League.
The following is from the Oklahoma Policy Institute’s Bill Watch that came out yesterday.
- HB 2621, by Majority Leader Jon Echols, expands the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship tax credit, currently capped at $5 million, to a maximum of $60 million (a Senate version of the bill, SB 407, raises the cap to $20 million);
- HB 2355 (Rep. Caldwell) allows for the use of a trade-in to reduce the sales tax liability when purchasing a motor vehicle and is projected to have a $53.2 million fiscal impact;
- HB 2502, authored by Speaker Charles McCall, would allow teachers a $1,000 tax credit for educational expenses and would cost $51.1 million;
- HB 2294, by Speaker Pro Tem Harold Wright, would allow vendors to claim a 3 percent deduction on sales tax remittances, with a projected fiscal impact of $32.8 million;
- HB 2667, by Appropriations Chair Kevin Wallace, would allow for gambling losses to be excluded from the cap of itemized deductions and would lead to a loss of $17.8 million in state revenues.
Of these five bills, HB 2667 and HB 2294 have already passed the full House; the others would need to be heard next week. These five bills together would lead to annual revenue loss of over $200 million, while several other tax credit bills have projected revenue losses ranging from to a few thousand dollars to $5 million.