The Tax Credit Task Force’s ‘Shortlist’

  • Joe Wertz

The tax credit task force started with about 50 tax credits and economic incentives.

That list was whittled down to about a dozen for “special scrutiny,” nonprofit journalism outfit Oklahoma Watch reported over the weekend in a series of stories published in the Tulsa World and Oklahoman.

Most are transferable, which means recipients can sell them to other people who had nothing to do with the plant openings, business projects or investments the credits were intended to finance.

How much does the dirty dozen reduce state revenue collections?

“We’re talking about at a very minimum $150 million, in my opinion,” Rep. David Dank, the task force chairman told Oklahoma Watch. “It could go in excess of that, but I don’t see how it could go any less.”

Oklahoma Watch’s Warren Vieth put the number closer to $174 million.

Out of the dozen, a handful of credits and incentives are on the task force’s “shortlist,” reported Oklahoma Watch:

  • Three capital investment credits
  • Historic Building Rehabilitation
  • Oklahoma Coal Production
  • Energy Efficient Home Construction
  • Oklahoma film incentives

The task force meets on Wednesday to vote on a set of criteria for evaluating tax credits and incentives. The task force will make recommendations to the Legislature, which will receive “priority consideration,” House Speaker Kris Steele told Oklahoma Watch.

Dank said he also planned to call for a vote on proposals to eliminate transferable credits, assign dollar caps and sunset dates to all credits and authorize the state auditor and inspector’s office to begin scrutinizing incentive programs, Oklahoma Watch reported.