Monday, May 8, 2017

Leslie Osborn's Tax Bill From Last Week

Leslie Osborn's Tax Bills From Last Week

Below is information on the bills that we warned you about in our special edition newsletter on Wednesday night. Together we are looking at 400 million dollars in tax increases and new taxes. Please use the information in that last newsletter to contact your state rep and senator. If you didn't keep a copy look at the top of this newsletter and find the archives section, it will be near the top.

HB2348 freezes the allowed state deductions by untying the state standard deduction limits from the limits established and adjusted annually by the IRS. For tax year 2017 and all future tax years, the following standard deduction amounts would apply:
  • $6,350 for single or married filing separately;
  • $12,700 for married filing jointly or qualifying widower with dependent child;
  • $9,350 for head of household.

This will cost Oklahomans around four to five million in additional taxes and about as much in increased fees to accounting or tax preparation firms. As inflation continues the impact will grow each year.

Call your representatives and senators to kill this bill on the next floor vote or in Conference Committee.

HB2360 establishes a 7 percent mixed beverage tax on low point beer sold and consumed on premises. your Thunder game refreshment and that beer with your meal just cost you an additional 7% tax over what is already paid. Here are the House votes, it appears to be headed over to the Senate so call the Senate first, then scold your state rep if he voted for it.

HB2361 establishes a new fee on the initial sale of tickets to professional sporting events involving ice hockey, baseball, basketball, football, arena football and soccer. For tickets priced at less than $50.00, the fee is $1.00. For tickets priced greater than $50.00, the fee is $2.00. Proceeds from the fee would go to the General Revenue Fund. This bill will cost you around 2.6 million dollars per year and more as inflation continues.

Here are the House votes, call the Senate first and then the House as the bill might be changed in conference committee and require another House vote.

HB 2392 modifies the Combined Pesticide Law by creating an additional $100 penalty for late pesticide applicator license renewals. The measure also removes the fee exemption for governmental agencies; increases the annual registration fee from $160 to $210; and increases the maximum amount designated for the State Department of Agriculture Unwanted Pesticide Disposal Fund from $100,000 to $300,000

This is a 33% increase in permit fees that will bring in nearly one million dollars, transferred out of the pockets of farmers and ranchers and ultimately consumers.

Call both the House and Senate as it has appeared to have gone into Conference Committee and will return for a floor vote in both houses. Here are the votes for House and Senate so far.

HB2357 is a 1000% increase in fees, taking the fee from $15 to $150, the fee to reinstate suspended corporate instruments because of a corporations' failure to file an annual franchise tax return and remit franchise taxes due to the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The impact is another three quarter of a million per year in fees for businesses. This bill passed the Senate and is headed to the House for vote. Here are the votes so far.

HB2359 increases the decal fees on all coin operated devices by 50 percent of the existing fee. This is a 1.3 million dollar tax increase. The measure appears to have died and there are no Senate votes but go ahead and call anyway or just tell the legislators to NOT approve ANY tax increases until tax credits to the wealthy and corporations are cut and spending is cut to the bone. Here are the House votes.

HB 1427 is an internet sales tax collection scheme that has already been sent to the Governor. It creates the Out of State Tax Collections Enforcement Act of 2017 and allows the Oklahoma Tax Commission to establish an out -of-state tax collections enforcement division and employ private auditors or audit firms to pursue the collection of unpaid taxes owed to the state by a remote seller or out of state individuals, firms and corporations. It allows the State of Oklahoma to set up offices in other states and hire five additional employees here in Oklahoma to try to find use tax and sales taxes owed by residents that purchase online.

There is no fiscal impact listed other than a half million per year for the five new state employees. I believe that they are afraid to list the actual fiscal impact lest a revolt start. Call the Governor's office on this one and call often and raise hell. Here are the votes on this monstrosity. Keep in mind by not posting a fiscal impact this will not count toward balancing the budget so they raised other taxes too.

HB2362 establishes a recurring $25 registration fee on noncommercial trailers with the proceeds going to the General Revenue Fund. Boat trailers, travel trailers, utility trailers, all are covered in this new tax. This changes a one time tag fee into an annual tax on that trailer. It appears to have not gone anywhere but let the bastards hear from you anyway. No votes so far but they floated it as a committee substitute.

HB2363 eliminates the motor vehicle excise exemption for vehicle purchases for a rental car
business. This will drive new car sales to rental firms out of state and harm car sales and increase rental car prices. Here are the House votes. This will cost us around 6 million dollars per year in direct taxation plus increases in the rental car rates.

HB2365 is a one third billion dollar tax increase that creates new gas and cigarette taxes and increases funding to various state agencies including higher ed. It establishes a new cigarette tax equal to $.075 per cigarette. For a standard package of 20 cigarettes, the tax amounts to $1.50 per pack. The measure also creates several new funds that would be the beneficiary of the new revenue resulting from the additional cigarette tax for the 10 month period between September 1, 2017 and June, 30, 2018.
  • 50 percent to the Health Care Authority Enhancement Fund;
  • 23 percent to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Enhancement Fund;
  • 14.5 percent to the Human Services Enhancement Fund;
  • 5.4 percent to the Oklahoma State University Medical Authority Enhancement Fund;
  • 2.7 percent to the Health Department Enhancement Fund

After July 1, 2018, 100 percent of revenue from the additional cigarette tax would go to the Health Care Enhancement Fund. The measure also creates a new tax on gasoline and diesel fuel equal to $.06 per gallon. Revenue from the additional gasoline and diesel fuel tax would go the Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety (ROADS) Fund.
The Democrats have come out against the bill, trying to hang the tax increases around the neck of the Republicans (fine with me!) and have admitted that the bill is log rolling and illegal and unconstitutional. Our special newsletter last week came out the night before the Democrats made that statement so we helped kill the support for the bill. However the bill is still alive and they will be desperate to pass this as it is one third of the budget hole. Here are the House votes, be sure and call both the House and Senate to help stop this monster tax increase. There are some sunset clauses for oil and gas credits but they show up as revenue neutral, meaning it isn't really doing any damage to the oil and gas companies, just fluff to say they did something on tax credits.

HB2366 modifies the capital gains deduction by increasing the amount of time that certain investments must be held by a taxpayer from 2 years to 4 years in order to be eligible to claim the deduction. This change affects the holding period requirement for the sale of stock or ownership interest in an Oklahoma company and the sale of real property, tangible personal property or intangible personal property located within Oklahoma as part of the sale of an Oklahoma proprietorship business enterprise. This is another back door tax increase that increases the tax rate when you sell property, turning the profit into regular income instead of lighter taxed capitol gains. They didn't list a financial impact because it will be large and that prevents them from using this tax increase to fill the budget hole and allows them to beat the drum for other tax increases. There are no votes at this time but the bill is waiting in line so they can sneak it through at a late night session. Here is a link to the bill info so you can read it yourself.

HB2367 repeals a section of law that allowed retail vendors to deduct1 percent of the sales tax due to the Oklahoma Tax Commission as compensation for the seller keeping sales tax records, filing reports and remitting the tax when due. The deduction is limited to $2500 per month per sales tax permit. This will transfer the cost of keeping sales tax records and filing and paying that tax from the Tax Commission to the businesses. Now allowing one percent to do this is cheap enough, not sure I would want to do anything that paid me only 1%. I'd like to see the Tax Commission collect any tax for 1% cost. The rebate is already capped at $2500 per month for a company like Walmart so this is a really bad idea. It has passed committee already and is headed for a floor vote so please call the House. Here are the House votes

HB2368 allows 50 percent of the earned income tax credit to be refundable to eligible taxpayers beginning tax year 2017. For tax year 2016, the credit was not refundable. For tax year 2015 and prior years, 100 percent of the credit was refundable. This bill isn't moving yet but needs to so please call the House and get this tax credit for the working poor restored. Here are the House votes. Now, the reason they have this in the budget hole filling list is that it is a negative fiscal impact, increaes the budge hole. That allows them to claim they need to increase other taxes by around 14 million dollars per year before they pass this one but they have no intention of ever passing this bill.

HB2370 is a new tax on small cigars and big cigars. We are talking about a 4 to 5 million dollar per year increase in taxes. It modifies the tax for little cigars by making them taxed at the same rate as cigarettes. The measure also establishes an additional tax on big cigars, which are those considered to
weight more than 3 pounds per thousand, equal to $50.00 per thousand cigars. Here are the House votes.

HB 2393 makes money transmission fees applicable to transactions done through the Internet or by telephone via a debit card, credit card or ACH transfer to recipients located outside of the United States. Revenue from fees imposed upon Internet or telephone transfers would go to the State Public Safety Fund. Transactions conducted by a bank or credit union are exempt from the fee. Transactions for payment of tangible or intangible property to the seller are also exempt.
This is another internet sales tax in effect if you are purchasing from outside the county or paying a seller that warehouses in the U.S. But is located abroad. For instance, the vendor that we use for this very newsletter is headquartered outside the U.S. So this is very common. The bill has passed committee with all of the conservatives voting against it. Here are the House votes.

Now all of this together is just the start of the threat as it adds up to just over 400 million dollars, 500 million to do plus extra to keep the hog trough full.