Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:00 am
OKLAHOMA CITY - A bill extending three specific tax initiatives designed to keep Oklahoma's aerospace economy flying is headed to Gov. Mary Fallin's desk.
If signed into law, Senate Bill 120 will extend the credits for another eight years, from Jan. 1, 2018, through Jan. 1, 2026.
•A tax credit to the employer of up to 10 percent of an engineer's salary for up to five years
•A tax credit to the employer for tuition reimbursements they make to their newly graduated engineers. The credit would apply to up to 50 percent of the average annual amount the engineer paid to earn his or her degree
•A tax credit to the qualifying engineer for up to $5,000 annually, for a maximum of five years
The credits initially took effect in 2010. A review by the Oklahoma Incentive Evaluation Commission at the end of 2016 showed they had generated $1.4 billion in economic output, $287 million in employee wages, 4,200 new jobs paying about $80,000 annually, and a 16.7 percent growth in aerospace engineer employment in Oklahoma.
While the commission found the credits had cost the state about $18.4 million in tax revenues during that time, it also reported the employment and economic activities the credits spurred generated an additional tax revenue of about $46.3 million during the same time.
In 2014, credit-generated employment and economic activity brought Oklahoma an additional $15 million in tax revenues — nearly double what it cost in tax credits, the commission found, recommending to the Legislature to keep the incentives in place.