Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 4, 2009
Senator Don Barrington
Sales Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses
of Disabled Veterans Passes Committee
Being an Army veteran and living in a military city,
Barrington knows all too well the sacrifices made by Oklahoma's
military personnel and their families. For this reason, he authored
SB 489 to expand the sales tax exemption for 100% disabled veterans
to include sales to the surviving spouses of deceased qualified
"This is a small price to pay for the sacrifices made by
our brave men and women, and especially these who sacrificed their
health for us," said Barrington. "There are no words
that can convey our respect and gratitude to veterans who lose
limbs or suffer other injuries on our behalf and for the sake
of freedom. We do provide the sales tax exemption to 100 percent
disabled veterans so why not carry that over to their spouses
after their death as a continuing pledge of our gratitude."
The measure was approved Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee.
Under the measure, only those spouses that have not remarried
would be eligible for the exemption. According to the Oklahoma
Department of Veterans Affairs, there are approximately 2,365
surviving spouses who would qualify for the proposed exemption.
Sales qualifying for exemption would be limited to $15,000.
The bill would have an estimated fiscal impact of $986,012 for
FY '10 and the state would see a decrease in state sales tax collections
of just under $1.74 million in FY '11 based on an annual inflation
adjustment of 2.9 percent.
"Concerns will be raised about the fiscal impact of my bill
given our current economy, and to them I'd point out that each
year we spend hundreds of millions on criminals and others who
do nothing but tear our society apart. If we can spend money on
those who do nothing but hurt their fellow man, I think we can
spare this little bit for those brave souls who freely risk their
lives for perfect strangers like you and me," said Barrington.
"There is nothing more important than honoring the sacrifices
of our veterans, and I hope my colleagues in the Legislature agree
with me on that and will help me get this bill to the Governor's
SB 489 will now go before the full Senate.