Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Investment Tax Credit Bill Laid Over/panel Runs out of Time

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Investment Tax Credit Bill Laid Over/panel Runs out of Time

Article excerpt

A bill which would increase the number of businesses eligible to apply for an investment tax credit from the state was laid over Wednesday by the House of Representatives' Revenue Taxation Committee.

The committee had to adjourn in the middle of the discussion of the bill because the committee's room reservation had expired. The legislation will be taken up again when the committee meets next Tuesday.

House Bill 1485, authored by Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Oklahoma City, amends current statutes regarding investment tax credits for businesses.

The present law allows a 1 percent tax credit to businesses which install new equipment which results in hiring of more employees. The maximum credit is for $50,000 worth of equipment in a given year, or $500.

Istook's bill would strike the language which limits the credit to businesses in which the new employees are involved in manufacturing or processing, opening the door for service industries to apply for the credit.

"This would remove the current limitations and allow service industries to apply for an investment tax credit," Istook said.

Moreover, the bill provides that the business also can apply for a tax credit based on the number of employees hired as a result of the installation of new equipment.

The maximum credit would be $500 per employee, 2 percent of the salary of each employee up to a salary of $25,0000 a year. In other words, an employer would get no more than a $500 credit for an employee making over $25,000 a year.

Dean Schirf, director of government relations for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, said the bill was important in attracting new businesses to the state as well as helping expanding firms.

The Boeing Co. of Seattle, which was looking at Oklahoma City last year as a possible site for an aircraft maintenance plant that would have employed about 1,400 people, had hoped to receive an investment tax credit, but was disappointed when they found the law did not include a credit for maintenance facilities. …

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