Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

TISRAD Report Finds 30-to-1 Return on Investment

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

TISRAD Report Finds 30-to-1 Return on Investment

Article excerpt

It's not often that a state government program can prove a nearly 30-to-1 return on its investment of tax money. But backers of the Transportation Industry Self-funded Research and Development (TISRAD) Committee claim just that.

But, they point out, the real return is much higher than 30 to 1, for the investment which has been made came from additional tax revenues from out-of-state trucking companies. Because of this, they say, Oklahoma taxpayers have paid nothing for this bonanza.

In a report prepared for the next round of TISRAD study to be considered, the Associated Motor Carriers of Oklahoma, the industry arm of the committee, pointed out that special tractor and trailer license fees paid to Oklahoma have increased $46.8 million since 1987. During that same time, research by the committee has cost $1.6 million.

That's a return of about $29.25 for every $1 spent.

"That's the latest report from the Oklahoma Tax Commission on the apportioned fees on interstate trucking," said Vince Robison, president of the trucking association and consultant to the committee. "But it doesn't include the companies which have expanded or moved to Oklahoma because of TISRAD." Expansion includes 2,600 new truck driving and clerical jobs created by 109 Oklahoma-based trucking companies, Robison said.

"This is additional payroll of $72 million annually, just in those two job categories," Robison said. "We are now surveying warehousing and distribution companies, so see how many new jobs they have created since 1987.

"Other residual benefits are that there has been $30 million spent with Oklahoma contractors as a result of expanding and new companies coming in.

"We've also surveyed the trucking companies to see how much they have increased local purchases. We haven't tabulated that yet, but one company alone has increased its local purchases by about $23 million annually.

"This is indicative of what is happening as a result of TISRAD and its work." The TISRAD committee was formed by the omnibus economic development act of 1987, which also offered owners of tractor-trailers a special lower fee for a base license plate in Oklahoma. The state also adopted a permanent registration system for trailers, eliminating the need for large companies to keep track of which tags were about to expire and renew them in time.

Some of the fees collected through this license fee must be apportioned to all states, depending upon the number of miles each truck drives in a state.

The number of trucking companies taking advantage of this special licensing is growing annually, Robison said, with proceeds for the first five months of 1991 almost equal to what was collected for all of 1990.

Through May, Oklahoma Tax Commission records show, there have been 56,706 tractors licensed in Oklahoma for a total $15. …

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