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Senate Unemployment Tax Cut Advances

Businesses A Step Closer to $54 Million Savings

A Senate initiative to reduce Oklahoma's unemployment tax by $54 million has cleared its first legislative hurdle, passing out of the Senate Finance Committee today.

"This is the first step to giving Oklahoma businesses a huge tax break," said Senator Fisher, chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee and author of SB 40.

"It's just another dividend of our growing economy. The prosperity we've experienced has created a surplus in the unemployment fund. It's appropriate that we return the money to the businesses that earned it."

The economic growth Oklahoma has experienced in recent years is getting the credit for the unemployment tax cut. Senator Fisher wants to reward Oklahoma businesses that helped fuel the economic expansion by returning surplus unemployment revenues to them.

The latest statistics from the State Employment Securities Commission show that the surplus in the unemployment tax fund would support a tax reduction of $54.4 million.

"We're hoping they'll roll the money back into the economy and create even more jobs," said Senator Fisher.

Two years ago, the Oklahoma Legislature reduced the unemployment taxes on new businesses. The current proposal would apply to all Oklahoma businesses, except those few businesses whose rates are locked in by federal law.

The next stop for SB 40 is the full Senate.