The elimination of a state sales tax on dyed diesel and a time limit on billboard permits are two ideas that emerged from a legislative study today, according to the state lawmaker who asked for the study.
State Rep. Harold Wright said the focus of the study was to target “red tape” that serves little useful purpose but imposes difficulties on businesses in Oklahoma.
“I requested this study because I wanted to help the small business owners in Oklahoma, to listen to their concerns and try to fix the problems with tax collections and permit processes that make their lives difficult,” said Wright, R-Weatherford. “Over time, agency rules and legislation tends to pile up and create a mess of bureaucratic red tape and so today’s study was the first step in sorting through it and trying to reinsert a little common sense into the law.”
The dyed diesel tax is inefficient, Wright said.
“Dyed diesel is used by farmers and is subject to less regulation at the federal level, but for some reason we tax it at the state level,” Wright said. “It provides about $18 million in revenue, but only after considerable costs go into collecting it, so it ends up being an unnecessary burden on businesses. That’s why I am going to look into eliminating it.”
The current billboard permit process creates a problem for businesses, Wright said.
“If a business applies for a permit, but then over time stops using the space, there is no current way for a business to apply to use that unused space,” Wright said. “A small change in the law would open up that space and create another opportunity for economic activity in the state.”
Speakers at the study included Oklahoma Tax Commission Director Tony Mastin, ASAP Energy owner Rick Roch, Weatherford businessman Jim Batcher and Round House Mfg. Co. owner Jim Antosh.