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Livestock premium tax exemption passes Oklahoma House

As part of an omnibus tax bill, the House on May 29 passed legislation that would allow monetary awards at livestock shows to be treated as scholarship money for tax purposes.

Language from a bill originally introduced by Rep. Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, was added to the bill in conference committee. It would allow awards from livestock shows--up to $600--to be reported as a scholarship, not as taxable income.

"The young people who raise livestock put in so much hard work--and they also invest money--for these achievements," Rep. Kouplen stated. "I think the least we can do is to acknowledge that these efforts should be rewarded just as we reward hard work and achievement in the classroom."

Rep. Kouplen's original bill, HB1918, had similar language, but would not have included the $600 cap. Earlier this year the bill was approved by an appropriations subcommittee, but was not granted a full committee hearing.

"I worked with several of my colleagues to ensure that this measure would be carried through in some form. It's important to the people of my district, and it's important to the future of our state that we preserve the tradition of farming and ranching," he added.

"Despite our tight budget year, I think this is a great first step toward making all of these awards tax-free. I hope that in the future we'll be able to remove the cap and fully realize the tax exemptions for these young people."

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