Economic Development Incentives Protected
As an economic development organization, the Chamber relies on a number of specific economic and community development programs to recruit companies to Oklahoma and promote the growth of our existing companies. All of these programs were protected this year. The critical programs the Chamber sought to defend include:
- Quality Jobs Act, 21st Century QJA, Small Employer QJA and the Prime Contractor QJA
- Aerospace Engineer Tax Credit
- Investment/New Jobs Tax Credit
- Historical Building Rehabilitation Tax Credit
- Freeport (Inventory) Exemption
- Five-year ad valorem abatement and sales tax exemption for manufacturing (except wind)
- Oklahoma Regional Home Office Insurance Premium Tax Credit
The Chamber was concerned by HB 3225 introduced by Rep. Jadine Nollan (R-Sand Springs) that would have terminated all economic development incentive programs by Dec. 31, 2021. However, after passing the House Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Finance on Feb. 14, the bill was favorably amended to remove all language relating to a premature sunset date for incentives and replaced by innocuous provisions providing for the creation of a dashboard of information on cost and usage of individual incentives.
It was a favorable year for the Chamber's incentive programs as most lawmakers now understand their value as well as the Pew Evaluation Process, strongly supported by the Chamber, which continues to provide a data-driven, empirical analysis that supplies legislators with facts on incentives. Additionally, SB 923, authored by Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah), was enacted to favorably amend the Small Employer Quality Jobs Act by increasing the number of employees a business may have to qualify for the incentive from 90 to 500.
For more information, please contact Mark VanLandingham.