Economic Development

(See also Revenue and Taxation)

SB 291(1) (Weedn/Mitchell): Directs the Department of Transportation to transfer certain federal funds to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce which will provide oversight administration of the funds. The funds are allocated for use by the Continental Gateway Authority for the completion of feasibility studies for, and the development of, a trade center and industrial park. The bill sets out procedures and requirements for selecting and negotiating with a consultant to conduct the studies required. Effective 7-1-99

SB 315(1) (Fisher/Ervin): Modifies the Small Employer Quality Jobs Act with the intent of making the Act more user friendly and clarifying some provisions. Replaces the requirement that applicants approved for incentive payments report their eligibility to the Tax Commission quarterly with a requirement for annual reporting. Eliminates some of the requirements a business must meet in order to continue to receive incentive payments, but requires the business to continue to meet job creation and wage requirements. Effective 4-7-99

SB 467(1) (Fisher/Ervin): Changes the date by which construction must be commenced for distribution facilities to qualify for the five-year manufacturer's ad valorem tax exemption from October 1, 1993, to December 31, 1999. Grocery wholesale distribution facilities and insurance claims processors are added to the list of basic industries for purposes of the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act. Finally, the compensation amounts for county equalization and excise board members are changed to $50 per day for all counties (currently, for counties with assessed valuation of $50 million or more, $25 per day expense reimbursement plus $25 per day for compensation), and the provisions for reimbursement for mileage for members residing outside the county seat is deleted. (NOTE: See SB 29 for further changes to county equalization and excise board member compensation). Effective 4-28-99

SB 523(1) (Fisher/Roach): Provides an income tax or insurance premium tax credit for investors in certain airlines. The credit applies to investments made between 1/1/99 and 12/31/00 and is transferable. The qualifying establishment must be headquartered in this state, have equity capitalization of not less than $10 million and demonstrate commitments from at least 20 state companies with at least 2,000 employees to use the establishment to provide nonstop air transportation from Oklahoma to the east or west coast. The maximum investment amount against which credits may be claimed is $30 million and the credits are redeemable over a five year period at the rate of 10% (plus a 6% inflater) each year. The establishment in which investments are made may not receive payments under the Quality Jobs Program Act until the state is repaid the entire amount of the credit. If such payments are not sufficient for repayment, the Tax Commission must withhold certain motor fuel tax revenues to account for 2/3 of the deficit, and a local governmental entity must pay the other 1/3. An establishment may elect to participate in the Quality Jobs Program Act in lieu of its investors taking the tax credit. Effective 6-9-99

SB 719(1) (Capps/Bonny): As a companion bill to SB 720, SB 719 provides a corporate income tax credit for investment made after July 1, 1999, in a new or expanding facility, or combination of two facilities, which creates at least 100 new jobs in the state and is engaged in an industry that the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority is authorized to promote. The credit is 5% of eligible capital costs of a qualifying project, is granted only against taxes to be paid on income generated by the qualifying project, and cannot exceed the following percentages of this liability:

100% of the liability if the cumulative capital investment is more than $100 M

75% of the liability if the cumulative capital investment is more than $50 M but not exceeding $100M

50% of the liability if the cumulative capital investment is $25 M or more but not exceeding $50 M

0% of the liability if the cumulative capital investment is less than $25 M.

The tax credit is not transferable but can be carried over for four years. A project receiving incentive payments under the Quality Jobs Program Act is not eligible to also receive payments under this Act. Effective 7-1-99

SB 720(1) (Taylor/Benson): Creates the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority as an agency of the state, authorizes the Authority to develop a spaceport for commercial space launches, and specifies an area in Washita County within which the spaceport will be established. The Authority will be activated upon agreement of designated government officials that appropriate action has occurred to necessitate creation of a spaceport.

SB 720 also grants the Authority the exclusive power to regulate the spaceport and space launches. The bill requires the Authority to develop a comprehensive general plan for the spaceport, adopt codes to ensure the safety of the spaceport territory, and compensate property owners who are required to evacuate their land during launches. The Authority is authorized to: acquire property (but limits to 25 acres the property that may be acquired by condemnation), issue revenue bonds and accept revenue from outside sources, develop and construct space-related projects, supply and furnish (subject to certain restrictions) utility, infrastructure and public safety facilities within the spaceport territory, and negotiate with political subdivisions outside of the spaceport territory agreements for overflight or recovery of space vehicles, payloads, and related materials. The bill exempts from taxation the sales of goods, including motor fuel, to the Authority and spaceport users, and the sales of space facilities, parts, vehicles and related equipment and property, and from documentary stamp taxes any deeds or other instrument to which the Authority or a spaceport user is a party. Effective 7-1-99

HB 1230(1) (Rice/Easley): Extends the expiration date for income tax credits for the use of Oklahoma coal from 12/31/99 to 12/31/02. The bill also provides that the term "new direct job" for purposes of the Quality Jobs Program Act includes employment of employees leased or otherwise provided to a qualified establishment, if the employment did not exist in Oklahoma prior to the establishment's application. Effective 7-1-99

HB 1825(1) (Toure/Monson): Creates the "Investment Initiatives for Distressed Areas Task Force", an eight-member legislative interim committee, to study capital investment needs of distressed areas located in urban and rural communities. The Task Force is required to report its recommendations regarding state initiatives that will leverage local capital investment to effect infrastructure development, business growth, and employment opportunities within distressed areas. Effective 7-1-99

(1) Passed, signed by Governor (2) Passed, pending Governor's approval/disapproval (3) Vetoed by Governor
(4) Pending in Legislature (5) Failed in Legislature (6) Enrolled with the Sec. of State

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