Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Study Could Impact Insurance Taxation / Says Interim Study Group

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Study Could Impact Insurance Taxation / Says Interim Study Group

Article excerpt

A state study into the perceived problems of insurance premium taxation could recommend changes in the current system, members of the state's Interim Study Group on Insurance Premium Taxation said Thursday.

The interim study group, set up to explore the equity and fairness of Oklahoma's statutes on insurance premium taxation, held its first meeting Thursday and authorized the distribution of a request for proposals to firms interested in conducting the study for the group.

According to the resolution, a full report, including recommended changes in the current system, is supposed to be ready when the second session of the 41st Oklahoma Legislature convenes in January.

However, a full report with recommendations may not be ready until February or March because of a desire by committee members and the attorney general's office to conduct a thorough study into the matter.

Feb. 2 is the deadline for introduction of bills into the legislature.

The study group was formed, and the study prompted, as part of a settlement of a suit challenging the constitutionality of Oklahoma's insurance premium tax laws. The Rev. Michael Roethler, president of St. Gregory's College in Shawnee, is chairing the group.

The suit was brought about by Prudential General Insurance Co. and 54 other companies headquartered outside the state, and the settlement was reached earlier this year.

In addition to the formation of the interim study group, the settlement included payment to the state of about $70 million from the insurance commissioner's protest fund and payment of $35 million from the fund to the protesting insurance companies. …

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