Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 7, 2017
Lawmakers introduce bill to ignite investment
D. Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) and Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma
City) have introduced legislation to spark a new wave of investment
in Oklahoma-based start-up companies.
SB 412 allows an investor in a qualified, Oklahoma-based start-up
company to offset some of the tax liability on their return should
the investment be profitable. The bill, known as the Ignite Oklahoma
Act, requires the investment be made in a new start-up company with
limited capital and be primarily housed in Oklahoma. If the company
is profitable, the investor is able to apply the tax credit to off-set
up to 55% of the tax liability generated from that specific investment.
“I am always looking for ways to help companies succeed in
order to grow our economy and provide good-paying jobs for Oklahomans,”
Loveless said. “The passage of this legislation will be a
first step in helping infuse Oklahoma’s startup community
with better cash flow.”
The Ignite program differs from those in the past because the credit
is redeemable on the back end of the investment; once measurable
economic growth has positively impacted the economy. If the company
fails, the investor is unable to use the credit because the investment
generated no tax liability. Additionally, this credit can only be
used against tax liability directly related to the investment, not
against any other.
“Creating an environment to support start-up businesses is
not only important to the growth of our economy, it’s essential
for its health,” said Echols, who serves as the House majority
floor leader. “Oklahoma is no stranger to tough economic times,
especially when there is a downturn in oil and gas production. We
need programs like this to help diversify our economy.”
SB 412 has received support from the business community.
“I see this as one step toward a land run of entrepreneurs
in Oklahoma,” said David Lewis, an Oklahoma City-based business
leader who has backed five Oklahoma start-ups. “Attracting
start-ups to the state is the most effective way to create a more
dynamic and stable economy.”
Oklahoma ranked 46th in the country for innovation potential in
2016 according to WalletHub. This ranking is due in large part to
limited venture-capital funding and entrepreneurial activity.
“We have seen several successful new medical devices developed
right here in Oklahoma,” said Dr. Joel Thomas, an Oklahoma
neuroradiologist. “The Ignite plan will help expand that progress
and allow our state’s economy to continue to benefit from
the innovative minds of entrepreneurs.”
The legislative session began Monday, Feb. 6.
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