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Oklahoma Tax Credit Evaluation Panel Discusses Criteria During First Meeting

Oklahoma state Capitol
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A panel established last year to study billions of dollars in tax credits and incentives met at the state Capitol Thursday to figure out what criteria they’ll use during their examination.

The Incentive Evaluation Commission will meet annually, and this year plan to look at a five-year property tax exemption for new and expanding manufacturing. The Associated Press says it costs about $67 million per year.

University of Oklahoma economist Cynthia Rogers serves on the committee, and wants to see the criteria and future evaluations include what she called an “equality assessment” that provides a broader context, eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley reports:

Rogers suggested using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, not just for Oklahoma but for surrounding states and the rest of the nation, as well, to see industry trends beyond the state. Bauer said that could be part of the analysis. "Once we establish the criteria," he explained, we will establish an evaluation plan for each of these incentives." "The commission's examination of the five-year ad valorem tax exemption will provide an opportunity to look at the administration of the program, since its statute has specific qualification requirements and processes, Bauer said. Bauer said the excise tax on aircraft sales exemption will be a challenge to evaluate since its fiscal impact currently is not known. "That's the biggest problem: Finding out what the fiscal impact is."

The commission didn’t take any action on the criteria, but will likely approve it in August.

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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