Capitol in brief
Elimination of national health care taxes sought
The House passed a resolution Wednesday asking the president, vice president and Congress to eliminate or change taxes imposed from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Joint Resolution 8 asks federal officials to look at ways to eliminate taxes as the legislation dubbed Obamacare by opponents is fully implemented over the next few years. SJR 8, which passed the Senate 37-9 last month, passed the House 70-11. It states that congressional reports show a large portion of the funding of the Affordable Care Act will come in the form of increased premium taxes. “Obamacare is nothing but a tax-increase wolf in health care-reform sheep's clothing,” said Rep. David Derby, R-Owasso. “There will be all sorts of unintended consequences, such as premium increases, younger, healthier citizens ... abandoning coverage, and spiraling costs will result in fewer options for consumers down the road.”
Committee approves housing tax credit
The House Appropriations and Budget Committee passed a bill Wednesday that would create an Oklahoma income tax credit for low-income and senior citizen housing projects. Senate Bill 804 states the credit would be similar to the federal low-income housing tax credit and it would be capped to the amount of annual federal low-income housing tax credits available to Oklahoma for the same allocation year. Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson, R-Enid, House sponsor of SB 804, said it would cost the state about $9.2 million in tax revenue when fully implemented. Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, argued against the measure, saying the state can't afford another tax credit that will take money away from core services. The committee voted 20-6 to pass SB 804, which now goes to the House Calendar Committee to determine if it gets a hearing in the House.