Editorial: Approval of SQ 766 needed to ensure fair, stable business climate
BY World's Editorials Writers
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
10/02/12 at 2:51 AM
Oklahoma's Supreme Court in 2009 ruled that all businesses should pay property taxes on intangible property, including such things as patents, licenses, computer software, trade names and formulas.
The Legislature promptly enacted a small business activity tax to be paid in lieu of the intangible property tax. That took care of the problem for businesses assessed at the county level but not those assessed at the state level - such as public utilities and railroads.
State Question 766, one of several proposals on the Nov. 6 general election ballot, would address that inequity by exempting intangible property from the ad valorem tax.
Not only would SQ 766 treat all businesses the same, it would ensure potentially huge and sudden tax increases for businesses if the business activity tax were allowed to expire.
The downside is that exempting intangible property from ad valorem taxation would cut revenue to local governments by an estimated $50 million, 60 percent of which would go to local schools.
Ensuring a fairer, more stable business climate in the state makes the cost worth it. Voters would do well to approve SQ 766 in November.
Original Print Headline: Sq 766