The Senate and House on Tuesday gave final approval to two proposals that would develop a system for evaluating tax credits and economic incentives to determine their effectiveness. Authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and House Speaker Jeff Hickman, Senate Bill 806 requires that any economic incentive include a measurable goal or goals when enacted.
House Bill 2182 will provide legislators with independent data on economic incentives, including estimated fiscal impacts and assessments of whether incentives are achieving their goals. The late Rep. David Dank was recently made the principal author of the bill, which is sponsored by President Pro Tempore Bingman. Dank was a longtime advocate for tax credit reform in the Legislature.
Bingman said the reforms would enable lawmakers to make more fiscally sound decisions on economic development policy.
“Oklahoma taxpayers deserve a system that will ensure the economic incentives we make available to businesses are accomplishing the goals they were created for,” said Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “These reforms will provide us with reliable, independent data and allow us to identify tax credits that aren’t providing us with a return on our investment.”
Sen. Rick Brinkley, who presented House Bill 2182 on the Senate floor, said it was time for the Legislature to examine in greater depth the numerous tax credits and incentives offered by the state.
“It is absolutely critical that we give greater scrutiny to the $1.7 billion in tax credits and economic incentives we make available to businesses,” said Brinkley, R-Owasso. “These measures will establish the system we need to make more informed decisions, identify ineffective tax credits, and protect Oklahoma taxpayers.”
HB 2182 was approved in the Senate by a vote of 46-0. SB 806 was approved in the House by a vote of 92-0. Both bills now advance to the desk of the governor.