State Rep. John Bennett (R-Sallisaw) last week praised the committee passage of legislation that would reduce tax incentives given to the wind energy industry. House Bill 1554, co-authored by Bennett, was approved by a vote of 17-7 by the Oklahoma House Appropriations and Budget Committee on Wednesday.
"We just aren't getting a solid return on our taxpayer investment in these credits," said Bennett. "With the current budget shortfall of $611 million, we must take a hard look at all tax credits to ensure we're getting a solid return on our investment. Oklahoma has a solid economy and brings in a lot of revenue due to the Legislature passing bills that make Oklahoma a business-friendly environment. However, we have a spending problem in the form of tax credits. I am pushing for tax credit reform and smarter use of tax payer money. This bill is a start to ensure we are good stewards of tax payer dollars."
The legislation is now available for consideration on the House floor.
Bennett also co-authored House Bill 2182, the Incentive Evaluation Act. The measure creates the Incentive Evaluation Committee which is tasked with developing evaluation criteria for each state incentive and a schedule for evaluating the incentives. The measure further creates the Incentive Approval Committee as a subcommittee of the Incentive Evaluation Committee.
"This legislation will start a more long-term process to improve the review of our incentives," Bennett said. House Bill 2182 has not yet been heard.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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