Measure offers tax breaks to Oklahoman tornado victims

An Oklahoma House of Representatives committee approved a bill to give tax breaks to tornado victims. The House and Senate should take up the measure before both chambers adjourn this year's session.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: May 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm •  Published: May 23, 2013
Advertisement

An Oklahoma legislative committee approved a measure Thursday that would provide tax breaks for tornado victims who sustained property damage.

Senate Bill 330 includes provisions for relief for property and vehicle owners. It also would exempt businesses from paying sales taxes on items donated to those affected by the tornadoes.

Rep. Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, House sponsor of the measure, said the tax breaks would apply to those who lost vehicles or property in this week's tornadoes in Moore, Carney, Newcastle, the Shawnee area, Prague, Edmond and south Oklahoma City.

The tax breaks would apply to any other tornadoes that occur this year and result in a presidential disaster declaration, Sears said.

The provisions in SB 330, in most instances, have been offered to those experiencing the destruction of property in previous natural disasters, according to a fiscal review by the House of Representatives staff.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission indicated the credits would not result in any measurable change in current revenue estimates for sales and income taxes.

SB 330 will be taken up by the House Calendar Committee, which will determine whether the House should hear it. If it wins approval in the House, it then would go to the Senate.

The Senate and House are expected to wrap up this year's session on Friday.