Oklahoma House passes measure to provide more details of state expenditures

Bill would require all state purchases, those who claimed tax credits to be on website.

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: May 25, 2010
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The House of Representatives passed legislation Monday that is intended to provide more details of state expenditures on a state website.

House Bill 3422 easily passed 87-8 despite a testy debate in which the bill’s author, Rep. Ken Miller, and Rep. Mike Reynolds, both Republicans, locked horns for at least the third time this session.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Among other things, the bill would require each individual expenditure be listed separately instead of being lumped together as one purchase, such as office expenses.

The information on the website would be searchable, whether by using the name of the recipient, the entity making the purchase or the date of the expenditure.

HB 3422 also would require the Oklahoma Tax Commission to prepare and maintain a list of all taxpayers who have claimed any tax credit, which would also be included on the state’s taxpayer transparency website called Open Books.

The tax credit information would include the identity of all taxpayers or organizations having any part in the chain of custody of the tax credit, and would also be searchable and downloadable. The bill would make the tax credit information available beginning with the 2011 tax year.

Reynolds was miffed because his amendment calling for the Tax Commission to maintain a list of taxpayers who claimed tax credits was not part of Miller’s bill.