Two bills aimed at giving tax relief to Oklahomans serving on active duty and a survivor’s benefit to military families who’ve lost a loved one are among the measures filed for the 2005 legislative session.
Republican Leader Glenn Coffee of Oklahoma City is author of Senate Bill 836 which would create the
“Oklahoma Survivors Compensation Act.” The measure, based on a similar law in the State of Illinois, calls for a survivor’s benefit of $3,000 for the families of Oklahomans killed in the line of duty as a result of a hostile action on or after September 11, 2001. Those individuals must have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least 12 months before entering into military service.
“These are fellow Oklahomans—they’re husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors and they’ve been willing to risk their very lives for the cause of freedom and to protect our nation. Providing this benefit to their families is the least we can do,” Coffee said. “I would like to thank the members of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Coordinating Council of Oklahoma for suggesting this much needed program.”
Senator Don Barrington, R-Lawton is author of Senate Bill 903 which exempts members of the U.S. Armed Forces from paying state income tax on their military pay while they are serving on active duty. Barrington, who is the newly elected senator from District 31, served in Vietnam in the United States Army.
“The men and women who serve on behalf of our entire nation do so at tremendous sacrifice, both to themselves and to their families. I know this kind of tax relief would be a tremendous help to these courageous Oklahomans,” Barrington said.
Barrington, a member of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, said his measure would cover any full-time, active duty military personnel otherwise liable to pay Oklahoma state income taxes, as well as National Guard or Reserve members while on active duty.