OKLAHOMA CITY (OBV) – A bill that allows Oklahomans to renew their occupational licenses with the state regardless of their tax status was signed into law.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 1956 into law last week.
HB 1956 amends 68 O.S. § 238.1, which requires that an individual be in compliance with Oklahoma income tax laws to hold a state license.
The new law allows licensees who are not in compliance with state income tax laws to renew their state-issued license. It also authorizes the Oklahoma Tax Commission to garnish the licensee’s wages to collect delinquent tax, penalty or interest that they owe.
“A licensee who was not previously required to pay income tax or who has moved to Oklahoma within the past year is exempt from income tax compliance requirements pursuant to 68 O.S. § 238.1,” a summary within the bill states.
Oklahomans will be able to renew their occupational licenses, which will enable them to remain in the occupation they specialize in, despite owing on their back taxes.
“To the nurse in my district who was denied renewal of her license because she wasn’t quite done paying off her back taxes, and who reached out for help-thank you for everything you do, and help is here,” said Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa.
Keeping skilled workers in the workforce was a top priority of the bill, said Rep. Jared Deck, D-Norman.
“With the current deficit of skilled workers in Oklahoma, removing barriers to work and paying off debt is a no brainer. I’m proud to be part of legislation that helps working families get on their feet,” Deck said.
The bill goes into effect on Nov. 1.