OKLAHOMA CITY - Saying Oklahoma's continued economic growth has cleared the way for an even larger unemployment tax cut, State Senator Lewis Long is expanding legislation that would reduce the unemployment taxes existing Oklahoma businesses pay.
"The surplus in the state unemployment insurance fund just keeps getting bigger and bigger because we keep putting more and more people back to work," said Senator Long. "I'm revising my bill to reflect the continued growth of our economy. I think we can give our existing businesses an even larger tax cut without damaging the integrity of the fund."
In its original form, HB 1672 would have cut the unemployment tax on existing business by approximately $5 million. The latest version of Senator Long's legislation would increase the tax cut to approximately $30 million. That amounts to about a 25 percent reduction in the amount of unemployment taxes that each business pays. "I'm trying to put some money back into the hands of Oklahoma business people so they can create more jobs," said Senator Long. "There's no reason to ask them to pour more and more money into an unemployment fund that is overflowing, thanks to our record job growth."
If Senator Long is successful, this will mark the second year in a row that he has led the fight to cut unemployment taxes. Last year, legislation authored by the Glenpool legislator reduced unemployment taxes on new businesses by approximately $20 million annually.
"Anyone who claims that we haven't cut taxes on Oklahoma businesses is ignoring the facts. When HB 1672 is implemented, we will have reduced the unemployment taxes on business by a total of $50 million over a two year period. That's a pretty substantial tax cut in my book, and I think business people will agree," said Senator Long.
"The Legislature has taken a proactive approach to create the best possible business climate in Oklahoma, and our economy has responded to our efforts. Quality Jobs, workers compensation reform and tax incentives have all played a role in our economic development strategy. The latest tax cut will give our economy an additional boost."