Rep. McPeak, advisory council assail tax credits for business
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Published: 04-May-2010

By Patrick B. McGuigan

Published: 04-May-2010

Oklahoma State Rep. Jerry McPeak, a Warner Democrat, organized a press conference where members of the Oklahoma Schools Advisory Council  demanded the Legislature “keep its promises” to public schools. The press event was held at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City today (Tuesday, May 4), as the House and Senate begin to consider possible moratoria on, or elimination of, some tax credits.

McPeak identified five “credits or exemptions that warrant review.” These include a corporate income tax credit for investment/increased employment, a corporate income tax credit for venture capital and small business ventures in rural areas, a venture capital credit, and two sales/use tax exemptions that benefit private educational institutions.

Although not all the educators spoke at an early afternoon press conference, many present supported McPeak’s listing, which he provided to reporters in attendance.

The corporate income tax credit for investment/increased employment supports “either investment in depreciable property used in a manufacturing or processing facility or for a net increase in average levels of employment in said facilities.” Value of the credits has increased from $40,244,733 in Fiscal Year 2006 to $118,738,138 in Fiscal Year 2008, Rep. McPeak’s handout reported.

The corporate tax credit for investment is based on “thirty percent (30%) for the qualified investment in the capital company which is subsequently invested in an Oklahoma rural small business venture,” among other provisions. Use of this credit has increased from $2,794,369 in FY 2006 to $45,068,020, McPeak’s handout asserted

The corporate tax credit for venture capital provides a credit of 20% “of the amount of investments made in qualified venture capital companies. Any credit not utilized for the year of investment can be carried forward against subsequent income tax liabilities” for three years, according to the handout. “The unutilized credit is freely transferable for the same” three year period.  The credit resulted in $,1,664,000 in value to participating businesses in FY 2006, and increased to $26,615,717 in FY 2008.

The other two priority items Rep. McPeak identified for review and possible revision included sales and use tax exemptions for private educational institutions. One allows exemptions for “tuition and educational fees paid to private institutions of higher education and private elementary and second institutions of education accredited by the State Department of Education.” The measure was identified as worth $19,600,000 to private schools in FY 2008.

The second targeted provision allows exemptions from sales and use tax for “sales to private institutions of higher education and private elementary and secondary institutions of education accredited by the State Department of Education.” It was worth 2,839,000 to private schools in 2008, McPeak.

Speakers at today’s press conference included Monte Madewell of Warner Public Schools and Derald Glover of Fort Gilbson Public Schools. Madewell and Glober are officers of the council.

In response to a question from CapitolBeatOK, Glover said he valued the worth of education in private schools, but that he was arguing for adequate funding for public schools.

Also addressing reporters were Jeanene Barrett of Bristow Public Schools and Robert Everett Newcastle Public Schools.

The assembled superintendents argued they wanted legislators to “keep their promises” to fund stipends for nationally certified teachers, to support provision of health insurance and fill in the ad valorem reimbursement fund. 

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