Economic Development Incentive Programs
All economic development incentives should provide the state with a benefit that out-weighs the cost to the state of the incentive. The Chamber therefore supports increased scrutiny, transparency and openness in evaluating the effectiveness of the state’s business incentives and the creation of a process to do so.
The Chamber relies heavily on a number of the state’s economic development and incentive programs to recruit companies to the Greater Oklahoma City area and to enhance expansion opportunities for our existing companies. The Chamber believes it is critical that certain programs be retained by the state. Our position on specific economic development incentives is as follows:
- The Chamber supports retaining the state’s “premier economic development incentives” that are critical in attracting new businesses to the Greater Oklahoma City area and in providing existing businesses an economic incentive to expand. These incentive programs are, for the most part, unique to Oklahoma and separate the state from what other states and competing locations are offering. The Chamber will oppose attempts to sunset, repeal or unreasonably modify the following economic development programs:
- Quality Jobs Act (QJA), 21st Century QJA, Small Employer QJA and the Prime
- Aerospace Engineer Tax Credits.
- The Chamber supports protecting Oklahoma’s “foundational incentive programs,” which are basic incentives offered by virtually every other state and competing location. Without the following programs, Oklahoma will not be considered a viable location by many companies looking to locate in Oklahoma:
- Five-year ad valorem tax abatement and sales tax exemption on facilities and equipment used in manufacturing and warehouse and distributions systems;
- Freeport (Inventory) Exemption;
- Investment Tax Credit.
- The Chamber supports retaining several “industry specific incentives” that are necessary for the development of industries important to Oklahoma’s economic future. Those programs are:
- Oklahoma Quality Events Act;
- Tax Credit for Electricity Generated by Zero-Emission Facilities;
- Sales Tax Exemption & Refund for Aircraft Repairs and Modification and the Sales Tax Exemption & Refund for Aircraft Maintenance or Manufacturing Facilities;
- Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program;
- Excise Tax Exemption on Aircraft Sales.
- Additionally, the Chamber supports retaining the following Community Development Programs (which have different policy objectives than the economic development incentive programs and should therefore be evaluated under different metrics):
- Tax Credit for Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures for Historic Buildings;
- Tax Credit for Energy Efficient Residential Construction.
During the 2014 Legislative Session, the Chamber will support legislation to extend the Aerospace Engineer Tax Credits, extend and fund the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program, extend and strengthen the Oklahoma Quality Events Act and amend the Small Business Quality Jobs Act to ensure all rural areas of the state may participate.
For more information, please contact a member of our Government Relations staff.