House of Representatives

Bill to Repeal State Franchise Tax Passes Committee

2/19/2013 4:00:00 PM

Contact: State Rep. Leslie Osborn
Phone:  (405) 557-7333

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure that would repeal the state franchise tax cleared the House Revenue and Taxation Committee today.

House Bill 1716, by state Rep. Leslie Osborn, would eliminate the business franchise tax and save Oklahoma businesses an estimated $45 million to $50 million annually.

Currently, said Osborn, businesses in Oklahoma are double taxed with the state corporate tax and the state franchise tax.

“Taxing our businesses for no other purpose that conducting business is both immoral and illogical,” said Rep. Osborn, R-Mustang. “The state is essentially creating a barrier to entry for startup companies and restricting the ability of established companies to expand and create more jobs. The path to economic growth begins by simplifying the tax code for job creators, and I think the repeal of the prohibitive franchise tax is a good place to start.”

According to the Oklahoma Tax Commission website, corporations that do business in the state are levied an annual tax of $1.25 for each $1,000 of “capital invested or used in Oklahoma.” The state levies the same tax plus an additional $100 annually on out-of-state corporations that do business in Oklahoma.

“This is a common-sense, conservative measure that I fully support,” said Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton. “Our number one focus in the House of Representatives is on helping businesses create new jobs and attracting new businesses to Oklahoma. Getting rid of the franchise tax sends a clear message that Oklahoma is open for business.”

HB 1716 passed the committee on a bipartisan 11-1 vote. It now proceeds to the House Calendar Committee, which will determine if the measure will be heard by the full body of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.