State Representative David Dank (R-Oklahoma City), chairman of the Special House Committee on Tax Credits and Incentives, has proposed a two-year effort to establish stringent criteria that would govern all existing and future tax credits, with a firm sunset date of July 1, 2014, beyond which all tax credits would be changed, reauthorized or eliminated.
“It is very clear that any effort to reduce state income taxes for all Oklahomans has run aground on the tax credit issue,” Dank said. “We cannot give real tax relief to all while we continue to pass out hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable tax credits to a favored few. My plan would take a deliberate look at every tax credit and put in place a permanent set of rules that would assure that any tax credit, now or in the future, would have to return real dollars to the state.”
Dank said the advantage of his two year approach would be to allow legislators elected last November 6 to have two full sessions to deal with the issue.
“Now it is time to perform, Dank said. “This Legislature has two sessions, beginning in February, to do the job we were elected to do.”
Dank said his first bill would put in place a set of criteria that would govern all existing or future tax credits. Those criteria would include stringent auditing, rigorous cost-benefit analysis, cost and time caps and a requirement that any tax credit would create or sustain quality’ permanent jobs. Dank said a primary goal will be ending the use of transferable tax credits that can be bought and sold.
A second bill would sunset all existing tax credits as of July 1, 2014. Dank said that would give lawmakers two full sessions to examine each tax credit, change it to meet the new criteria, or allow it to expire on the sunset date.