Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 18, 2009
Senator John Sparks
Senator Sparks Authors Bill to Cut Taxes
College and Career Tech Students Would Benefit
Sparks (D-Norman) has filed a measure intended to eliminate
the state income taxes paid by full time Higher Education and
Career Technology students.
“We need to do all we can for students who
are struggling to make ends meet,” said Sparks. “Approval
of this legislation would send a clear message that the Legislature
wants Oklahomans to become better educated and we’re here
Senate Bill 1091 would exempt any Oklahoma resident,
regardless of age, from paying state income tax while enrolled
as a full time student at any College, University or Career Tech
Center. The bill provides this exemption if the student earns
less than the $50,000 income limit set by the Oklahoma’s
Promise scholarship program.
The single most important factor driving economic
development in any state is the education level of the workforce.”
Sparks continued, “To move Oklahoma forward, we’ll
need the best educated workforce possible – and this helps
us achieve that.”
Sparks, whose district contains the University of
Oklahoma, has been a champion of Higher Education during his two
years in the Oklahoma Senate. During his first year in office,
he received the legislative newcomer of the year award from Oklahoma’s
colleges and universities.
Sparks noted the measure will help more than just
traditional college students in their late teens and early twenties.
“Those who are going back to school to learn new skills
for the new economy are just as much why I wrote this law.”
One example is Norman resident Liz Houck. A thirty-four
single mother of two, she is currently enrolled in a Career Tech
program to become a LPN and RN. “Each month I just barely
make it,” said Houck, a nursing assistant in Cleveland County.
“Between work and school there is hardly any time in my
day, but I know I can provide a greater future for my son and
daughter by getting a better education.”
Oklahoma’s Career Tech system currently reports
nearly 12,000 adults as full time students enrolled in course
work at campuses across the state.
“I’m aware that we are in a struggling
economy, but I don’t believe we should balance the state
budget on the backs of students” said Sparks. “The
best tax cuts in tough times have always been targeted tax cuts
such as this.”
Senate Bill 1091 must be voted out of a Senate Committee
by this Thursday, February 19 to be considered by the full Senate.
To encourage passage of this legislation, contact Senate Pro-Tem
Glenn Coffee at (405) 521-5799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact:
Sen. Spark's Office: 405-521-5553