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Politics and Government

House Passes Tax Measure For Oklahoma Military Bases

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A measure that would allow private businesses to charge sales tax on military installations narrowly received approval Wednesday from the House.

HB3143, by state Rep. Mike Jackson (R-Enid) and state Sen. Mike Schulz (R-Altus), directs the revenue and taxation ordinances of any municipality and the licensing and regulatory authority of any municipality to not apply or extend to any military installation located on federal property which has been annexed in part or in whole by a municipality on or after July 1, 1998, except to the following extent.

It requires the sales, use and occupancy tax ordinances of a municipality to be applicable and extend to the part or whole of the military installation on federal property annexed on or after July 1, 1998, but the applicability of such ordinances is to be limited to activities on the military installation engaged in by the private sector involving the sale of goods and services taxable under the Oklahoma Sales Tax Code, the storage, use or other consumption of tangible property taxable under the Oklahoma Use Tax Code, and the occupancy of hotel/motel rooms for rent whether received in money or otherwise.

State Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) said the bill was an attempt to bail out the city of Lawton for their financial troubles.

“Apparently the leaders of Lawton have gotten in trouble and they’re greedy enough that they’re going to take $1 million from the soldiers and their families,” Reynolds said. “This bill was a bad idea when it left house in first place.”

Jackson disagreed with statements made that Lawton is in financial trouble. Jackson said he appreciated the passion on the issue but said there was a lot of misinformation on how the bill would work.

“This is not going to raise taxes on military personnel,” Jackson said. “Even in question period there was an attempt to make sure it was stated correctly. They have an exemption to sales tax. So in terms of argument does this raise taxes on current active duty? No. we’re only talking about those few select businesses that have a competitive advantage because they don’t have to charge all the taxes.”

Jackson added that in order for that city ordinance to change, base approval would be required. The bill received final approval by a vote of 51 to 42.

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