Senator Mike MAZZEI
CO-CHAIRMAN, FINANCE COMMITTEE
Senate District 25
Senator Cliff Aldridge
SENATE DISTRICT 42
For Immediate Release: February 5, 2008
Sen. Mike Mazzei
Senate Finance Committee Begins Search for ‘Ineffective,
Obsolete’ Tax Incentives
Co-Chair Mazzei Discusses Legislation to ‘Sunset’
Most Tax Incentives, Proposes Criteria for Future Tax Breaks
The State Senate Finance Committee began a review of Oklahoma’s
tax incentives on Tuesday, hearing testimony from Dr. James Wilbanks,
chairman of the state Incentive Review Committee.
Wilbanks discussed his committee’s work, and their proposed
criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of tax incentives.
Finance Committee Co-Chairman Mike
Mazzei said he wants the tax incentive review to be a bipartisan
Senate Republicans hope to identify obsolete or ineffective special
interest tax breaks that can be eliminated to free up money to reduce
the state income tax.
“There are more than $1 billion in special tax incentives
currently on the books in Oklahoma, and reviewing them will be an
ongoing process” stated Sen. Mike Mazzei, co-chairman of the
Finance Committee. “If we can find tax breaks that don’t
benefit the state or that have become out-dated, we can use that
money instead to help grow the economy by reducing taxes on income
State Senator Cliff
Aldridge, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, agreed.
“We have a lot of tax incentives in Oklahoma, so it is important
for the Legislature to make sure they are working as planned,”
said Aldridge, R-Choctaw. “The majority of tax incentives
are probably helpful to our state and our citizens, but we need
to identify the ones that are ineffective or obsolete and eliminate
Mazzei, R-Tulsa, also talked to committee members about his legislation
to “sunset” most existing tax incentives. Senate Bill
2024 would set an expiration date for tax credits and sales tax
exemptions. Mazzei’s bill would not affect tax breaks aimed
at helping senior citizens, veterans, the indigent, or the disabled.
“By placing sunset dates for special tax breaks, it will
require the Legislature to conduct regular reviews to ensure these
have worked as advertised,” Mazzei said. “If they are,
we can renew them. If not, we can let them expire and put the money
to better use.”
Mazzei proposed that future proposals for tax incentives meet strict
criteria before being approved by the Legislature to ensure they
are broad-based and will improve the economy.
“We’re taking a hard look at tax incentives already
on the books, so it only makes sense that we should give proposals
for new tax breaks the same level of scrutiny,” Mazzei said.
“New tax incentives should meet a strict set of criteria to
ensure they will help our state meet our long-term economic goals.”
For more information contact:
Senator Mazzei's Office: (405) 521-5675