Legislation approved by the state Senate on Tuesday would expand the number of events that qualify under the Oklahoma Quality Events Incentive Act.
Authored by Sen. Dan Newberry, Senate Bill 976 would help the state attract and retain major events like the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, which drew a crowd of 106,850 to Tulsa. The attendance figure was a near-record for the event.
“These events bring thousands of people into our communities, enrich our quality of life and broaden our tax base,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “It’s important that we do everything we can to remain competitive in attracting and retaining these high-value events. This legislation gives our communities an advantage in their recruitment efforts.”
The Oklahoma Quality Events Incentive Act gives communities a portion of any incremental sales tax increase generated by an event, for use in the recruitment, promotion and retention of high-value events.
SB 976 modifies the Quality Events Incentive Act by allowing communities to apply for Quality Events Funds less than one year from the date of an event. Additionally, the bill would allow negotiated events to qualify under the Act. Examples of such events include the World Quarter Horse Show in Oklahoma City and the National Arabian Horse Show in Tulsa.
“These events are a vital economic development tool for our communities,” Newberry said. “They encourage growth and serve as a source of pride for many Oklahomans. This legislation will give us every opportunity to keep and attract high-value events for years to come.”
SB 976 now advances to the House for consideration.