Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2011
Sen. Don Barrington
Finance Committee unanimously approves sales tax exemption for disabled
A measure to extend a portion of the sales tax exemption allowed
for 100% disabled veterans to their widows unanimously passed the
Senate Finance Committee Tuesday. Sen. Don
Barrington, R-Lawton, says the measure would provide some financial
help to the surviving spouses of Oklahoma’s heroes.
“Providing the sales tax exemption to disabled veterans is
our state’s way of honoring and recognizing their tremendous
sacrifice to our country. When these veterans die, it can put a
financial burden on their spouses,” said Barrington. “Although
they never fought in a war, these spouses made their own personal
sacrifices during their loved ones’ years of service, and
I think they have earned and deserve this small financial consideration.”
Senate Bill 46 would exempt the surviving spouses of qualified veterans
who have not remarried from sales tax on up to $6,000 in sales per
year. To be qualified as fully disabled, a veteran must be unable
to sustain employment because of his or her disability.
Barrington noted that Veterans organizations from around the state,
including the Oklahoma Veterans Council and the MidAmerican Chapter
of Paralyzed Veterans of America, have been requesting the legislation
Pete Peterson, Chairman of the Oklahoma Veterans Council noted that
military benefits to widows are much lower than normal retirement
benefits provided to veterans.
“We’ve been pushing for this legislation for years.
When veterans die, their widows are basically left in the cold financially
because benefits are cut in half,” said Peterson. “This
exemption, while it won’t come near to making up the difference
in lost benefits, will provide some financial relief and allow these
individuals to be better able to continue providing for themselves
and their families.”
Those veterans who are 100 percent disabled receive $2,500 a month
in benefits. Upon their death, however, those benefits fall to $1,100
Scott Ellis, Government Relations Director for the MidAmerican Chapter
of Paralyzed Veterans of America thanked Barrington for his dedication
to help veterans and their families.
“We are extremely thankful to Senator Barrington for his commitment
to the surviving spouses of these veterans,” said Ellis. “We
hope the Senate and House give this issue the attention it deserves.
It’s important that these widows be given this relief so they
can be able to afford groceries and other necessities. They deserve
According to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, there
are approximately 2,533 surviving spouses who would qualify for
the proposed exemption. The fiscal impact of SB 46 to the state
through decreased sales tax collections is estimated to be just
over $405,000 for FY ’12 and nearly $706,000 for FY ’13.
Though passed unanimously by the committee, title was struck. SB
46 will next be heard by the full Senate.
For more information contact:
Sen. Barrington: (405) 521-5563