The Oklahoma Senate on Friday approved historic legislation to completely eliminate the state’s estate tax over a three-year period. House Bill 1172 was amended to contain language originally authored by Senators Mike Mazzei and Glenn Coffee in Senate Bill 334. In addition to eliminating the tax over a three-year period, the amendment provides immediate estate tax relief to non-lineal heirs such as nephews and nieces, treating them the same as lineal heirs such as children and grandchildren.
Mazzei said the approval of the legislation is a victory for Oklahoma taxpayers.
“Senate Republicans have worked hard for years to eliminate Oklahoma’s unfair death tax, and I’m pleased we were able to pass this legislation today,” said Mazzei, R-Tulsa. “The elimination of the estate tax will allow us to attract jobs and keep retirees in the state. More importantly, it eliminates a tax that prevents families from passing their hard-earned assets to future generations.”
Mazzei said the elimination of the estate tax has long been a priority of the Republican Caucus, and has become an issue of increasing importance to Oklahoma taxpayers.
“After Oklahomans have paid property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes their entire lives, taxing their remaining assets a second time is nothing less than immoral,” Mazzei said. “Today’s vote will help us create a tax climate that will attract and keep businesses, professionals and long-time Oklahoma residents who can now keep their investment dollars in state. This is a significant victory for all Oklahomans, and a great day for our state.”
House Bill 1172 will phase out the estate tax over a three-year period, on the same timetable used in the federal elimination of the estate tax. In 2010, the estate tax will be completely eliminated.