Oklahoma governor warns against putting tax breaks on hold
by Rick Green

Oklahoma lost out on two significant business projects because the Legislature is considering trimming tax breaks, Gov. Mary Fallin said in urging lawmakers to tread lightly as they consider altering economic development incentives.

Also, backers of millions of dollars in historic preservation efforts, including the First National Center in Oklahoma City, are warning their financing could fall through if favorable tax treatment is lost.

The governor issued a statement Tuesday evening saying lawmakers need to be careful “not to harm economic development prospects by hampering the state’s ability to diversify its economy and create jobs.”

Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman responded to the governor’s statement Wednesday, saying it was Fallin who called for tax reform in her State of the State address Feb. 1.

“It’s disappointing that less than two weeks into the legislative session, however, there already is retreat from the idea of simply examining whether or not tax incentives are working,” he said. “The alternative is deep cuts to core services like education, public safety and transportation, which all of us are trying to avoid.”

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