Farmers And Legislators Urged to Support SB 422 Which Clarifies Eligibility For Ag Sales Tax EmptionTue, 11 May 2021 09:32:21 CDT
The long-fought battle over the agriculture sales tax exemption is again making headlines during the Oklahoma legislative session this year as ag groups are working with lawmakers on a bill that clarifies eligibility.
During an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, Steve Thompson, senior director of public policy for Oklahoma Farm Bureau, explained the details of SB 422.
This is a perennial issue and sacred to our producers and ag retailers, Thompson said.
The proposed bill is a response to a change by the Oklahoma Tax Commission to require a Schedule F alone to prove eligibility for the ag sales tax exemption permit, which excluded producers who were eligible by state law.
A lot of our members received letters from their county assessor notifying the Tax Commission had changed the requirements this year, Thompson said.
It came as a surprise as there had been no legislative changes, he noted.
SB422 adds some flexibility as there is not one way agriculture works in Oklahoma, Thompson said.
Basically the legislation defines a set of parameters that a producer may use to qualify for the exemption.
Nobody wants to protect the credibility of the exemption more than farmers and ranchers, Thompson said.
We feel the tax commission didnít really understand how agriculture works, he added.
The bill lays out a framework for describing how producers, county assessors and the tax commission can determine eligibility for the tax exemption.
The legislation is sponsored by State Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Springer) and State Rep. Del Kerbs (R-Shawnee).
There is good support for SB 422, Thompson said.
We are asking our members to reach out to their legislators, and we feel like we have good support, but many legislators are far removed from production agriculture, Thompson said.
He encouraged producers to tell their story as time is running short with only a few days left in the session, Thompson added.
You can click on the listen bar below to hear more of Ronís interview with Steve Thompson.
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