Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2016
Sen. Frank Simpson
Senate approves tax refund donation for indigent veteran
There are currently estimated to be over 300 homeless veterans
in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Funeral Directors Association says that
statewide they bury approximately 25 indigent veterans each year
and absorb the costs of the funerals. On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously
approved Senate 1134, by Sen. Frank
Simpson, which would provide a funding mechanism for the Oklahoma
Department of Veterans Affairs’ (ODVA) Indigent Veteran Burial
“Our veterans served our nation honorably, sacrificing of
themselves to help others. The least we can do as a society is to
ensure that they are honorably laid to rest with dignity,”
said Simpson, R-Springer. “This bill will allow citizens and
businesses to donate a portion or all of their income refund to
this burial program to help our indigent veterans.”
Under SB 1134, each state individual income tax return form and
each state corporate tax return form for tax years beginning after
Dec. 31, 2016, would contain a provision to allow a donation from
a tax refund for the benefit of ODVA’s Indigent Veteran Burial
Program. A revolving fund would be created in the State Treasury
for the program.
The measure would also allow donations to be received from private
individuals, veteran’s organizations, charitable groups and
any other entities wishing to make donations directly to the fund.
The ODVA would be able to use the funds to reimburse cemeteries
or funeral homes for costs associated with burying indigent veterans.
SB 1134 is a companion bill to SB 398, which was introduced last
session and is awaiting further consideration in the General Conference
Committee on Appropriations. SB 398 seeks to create the Indigent
Veteran Burial Program.
SB 1134 will next be heard in the House.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Simpson: (405) 521-5607