Intangible Personal Property Tax Expanded to Locally Assessed Businesses by Oklahoma Supreme Court

Intangible Personal Property Tax Has Been Expanded to Locally Assessed Businesses by Oklahoma Supreme Court

Mike Means of the Oklahoma State Homebuilders Association sent out a legislative update this morning, saying:

In September of 2009, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that with the exception of items listed in Article 10, Section 6A of the Oklahoma Constitution, locally assessed businesses should be paying ad valorem taxes on their intangible personal property. This means that such things as trademarks, software, patents, contracts, customer lists, company names, etc., are now taxable as intangible personal property. Talk about full employment for the local assessor! Currently locally assessed companies do not pay ad valorem taxes on their intangible personal property. The Supreme Court ruling changes that.

The solution is to look at an in lieu tax. Our state constitution allows for taxpayers to pay certain taxes in lieu of other taxes. Presently, Oklahoma businesses are liable for a state franchise tax. By creating a small business activity tax that would be paid in lieu of ad valorem tax on intangible personal property, we can eliminate the current franchise tax and save Oklahoma businesses from a large tax increase that will inevitably result from the Supreme Court’s ruling. The ultimate details of this solution is being worked out by the legislature but the ultimate goal is that it be revenue neutral.

Without this solution, one tax expert says this will be the biggest tax increase in state history. We cannot do nothing.

This issue of ad valorem taxation affects all Oklahoma businesses. It could potentially hurt our economy by scaring business away from Oklahoma.

This is the same Oklahoma Supreme Court that recently ruled that REALTORS® can be sued for fraud if they give inaccurate court house information to buyers regarding residential square footage.

By the way, does anybody know how someone gets on the Oklahoma Supreme Court? How can we get some new blood on the bench? We shouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to clean up their mess.