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

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For Immediate Release: February 4, 2009

Sen. Don Barrington
Senator Don Barrington

Sales Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of Disabled Veterans Passes Committee

Being an Army veteran and living in a military city, Sen. Don 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 veterans.

"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 desk."

SB 489 will now go before the full Senate.

For more information contact:
Sen. Barrington's Office: 405-521-5563

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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