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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: January 10, 2008

Senator Andrew Rice
Senator Andrew Rice

Rice to Reintroduce Caretaker Tax Relief Plan

State Senator Andrew Rice (D-OKC) today announced he will revive his legislation to provide tax cuts to Oklahomans who care for and support their aging relatives when the 51st Oklahoma Legislature reconvenes next month.

Rice said he was disappointed that his caretaker’s tax relief plan was omitted from a larger tax reform plan adopted by the legislature last year.

“We found time and resources to cut the state income tax and declare a back-to-school tax holiday for the purchase of clothing and footwear,” he said. “It should not be much harder to help Oklahoma families who elect to care for their aging loved ones.”

Rice’s plan would allow individuals earning less than $35,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000 per year to deduct at least one-half of the total cost of support for a relative 70 years of age or older who lives in the taxpayer’s home.

“More and more Oklahomans are electing to personally care for their aging parents or loved ones by moving them into their family home,” Rice said. “This is a selfless act, a compassionate decision that should be encouraged by our state.”

AARP Oklahoma applauded the Rice Caretaker Tax Relief plan and urged legislators to pass the measure into law.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of long-term care in our state,” said Bob Bristow, AARP OK State President. “While the care they provide often goes unnoticed, their contributions often delay or prevent more costly nursing home care and that can have a positive impact on our state Medicaid budget.”

In Oklahoma, there are 370,000 family caregivers providing care totaling $3.5 billion, Bristow said.

Rice said that he will fight for broad support in the legislature this year to help low- to middle-income working families who serve as caretakers.

“I have heard from families all across our state that would be affected by my tax relief plan,” he said. “I am confident that we can encourage their decision to keep their families together, rather than splitting them apart.”

For more information contact:
Senator Rice's Office - (405) 521-5610

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