OFFICE OF SENATOR JAY PAUL GUMM
Atoka, Bryan, Coal, Johnston & Marshall Counties
For Immediate Release: November 2, 2007
Sen. Jay Paul Gumm
Surviving Spouses Should Get Disabled Vet
Sales Tax Exemption, Gumm Says
CITY – One of the first
bills filed for the 2008 session of the Oklahoma Legislature
would extend an important tax break to the surviving spouses
of disabled veterans.
Jay Paul Gumm filed Senate Bill 1131, which would allow
surviving spouses of veterans with a 100 percent service-connected
disability to keep the veterans’ sales tax exemption.
Gumm was the primary author of the bill that created the sales
tax exemption for disabled veterans on every purchase up to an
annual total of $25,000. The Democrat from Durant was named “Senator
of the Year” in 2006 by the Oklahoma Department of Disabled
American Veterans for his work to pass the original law.
lawmaker said surviving spouses of disabled veterans endure extra
hardships on the passing of their spouse. “Not only do they
lose their soul mates, they often face severe financial difficulties,” he
said. “The financial hardship is increased when the tax exemption
dies with their loved one. It is an extra burden they should not
have to bear.”
latest measure is part of a continuing effort to strengthen the
exemption veterans earned on fields of battle around the world.
When word spread that many businesses were ignoring the law, Gumm
led an effort to boost penalties for those businesses that refused
to honor the exemption.
“This bill is the next logical step for the exemption,” said
Gumm, whose father was a Korean War veteran and whose mother was
state president of the American Legion Auxiliary.
“The freedom we enjoy as Americans do not die with the passing
of a veteran; this benefit they earned should not die as well.
It should extend to their surviving spouses.”
Based on the response of veterans from across Oklahoma, this is
one of the most popular veteran benefits in the state.
“Even veterans who do not qualify for the exemption say
it is important,” Gumm concluded. “They tell me that
simply having it on the books and honoring the exemption shows
we in Oklahoma value the sacrifice of those who defended our freedom.”
Lawmakers will consider the measure when the 2008 session of the
Legislature begins in February.
For more information, contact:
Senator Gumm's Office: (405) 521-5586