Thursday, September 23, 2021

State Sen. Murdock to file legislation to ease ag sales tax exemption renewal


Murdock to file legislation after findings of ag sales tax exemption interim study

On the heels of an interim study dedicated to examining Oklahoma’s agricultural sales tax exemption, Sen. Casey Murdock said he’s preparing to file a measure ahead of the next legislative session to make it easier for farmers and ranchers to renew their sales tax exemption card.

“When the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) began requiring a Schedule F for agriculturalists to qualify for their sales tax exemption, we passed Senate Bill 422 to add additional documentation farmers and ranchers could provide to OTC in lieu of the Schedule F,” Murdock said. “After working with the tax commission, I’ve found these changes are working – there’s no backlog of producers getting their card, and denials are typically because the applicant hasn’t correctly filled out the form. However, we also learned the vast majority of the 110,000 ag sales tax exemption cards issued each year are renewals, so now we need a way to make the renewal process easier and more convenient.”

Murdock said his proposal will include an additional option on the agricultural sales tax exemption application that will allow the farmer or rancher to check a box if the application is a renewal, as well as confirm there’s no change to the agricultural operation from the prior year. If there’s no change, the renewal will be automatic.

“This small change would help make the renewal process convenient for the farmer or rancher, as well as streamline the process for OTC,” Murdock said. “I also would like to include a provision in the measure that would clarify the term ‘farming for profit,’ to ‘intend to farm for profit.’ I’m hopeful that together with the OTC and the support of my colleagues in the House and Senate, we can make these changes that would be beneficial to everyone involved in the process.”

During the study, there were several comments and concerns about potential legislation stripping the agricultural sales tax exemption all together. Murdock said he wanted to make it clear that this is not a current threat.

“All tax incentives are looked at by the legislature, especially during years of budget downfalls,” Murdock said. “However, I want to ensure our agricultural community that I will do everything in my power to protect rural Oklahoma by keeping this exemption intact. Doing away with this tax exemption would be a death sentence to our small towns, especially those close to bordering states, since this exemption is offered in the states that surround us. There are no current discussions about eliminating this exemption, and as long as I’m in office, I’ll work to keep it that way.”

Bills for the 2022 legislative session must be filed by Jan. 20, 2022, at 4 p.m. Session will begin on Feb. 7, 2022, at noon.

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