Commission seeks ruling review
The Oklahoma Tax Commission is asking the state Supreme Court to review an appellate court's ruling that a capital gains deduction is unconstitutional. The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled that the deduction treats out-of-state companies differently than Oklahoma firms. The appellate court stated its ruling applies only to the 2008 tax return of the company that filed the appeal. But apparently concerned about other legal challenges, the Tax Commission is asking justices to review the ruling. The Tax Commission, in papers filed with the Supreme Court, said the Court of Civil Appeals incorrectly applied U.S. and Oklahoma Supreme Court decisions to come up with its ruling. Tax Commission attorneys also are seeking permission to make oral arguments in the case, saying the ruling, if allowed to stand, could generate as much as $450 million in claims for refunds for income tax paid. The Court of Civil Appeals ruled that the capital gains deduction, which took effect Jan. 1, 2006, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court, in a 3-0 ruling, reversed an opinion by the Tax Commission, which denied an appeal from CDR Systems Corp., stating it also should have received the deduction. Capital gains include money from the sale of real estate, stocks or personal property. The appellate court found that the Oklahoma capital gains deduction discriminates against out-of-state companies because it affords state companies different treatment for similar taxable events. Tax Commission attorneys said the law allowing the deduction applies to any corporation, estate or trust and does not limit the availability of the deduction to in-state companies but limits it to gains received from the sale of certain types of property in the state.
Lawmaker seeks more budget studies
A legislator said Wednesday that lawmakers should get serious about improving the state budget process and the use of agency carry-over funds. Rep. Joe Dorman said he has requested two interim legislative studies to look into the issues. Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said improving the budget process, particularly through concepts like zero-based budgeting, has been brought up in discussions among lawmakers year after year, but never seriously studied. Dorman said lawmakers also must keep closer watch of carry-over funds. “If an agency has a valid reason to carry over funds, we should know the reason,” he said. “If they are simply stockpiling funds, this hurts other agencies which might be experiencing a shortfall.”