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Oklahoma Tax Commission advances rules for Parental Choice Tax Credit program

Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt shake hands after the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.
Abi Ruth Martin
Oklahoma Legislative Service Bureau
Oklahoma Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat and Gov. Kevin Stitt shake hands after the State of the State address on Feb. 6, 2023.

The Oklahoma Tax Commission’s rules for the state’s new Parental Choice Tax Credit advanced to the governor’s desk Tuesday after the required public comment period ended.

The state legislature will also have to weigh in on the rules during the 2024 session.

After getting passed during the spring legislative session, the new private school tax credit program will provide refundable tax credits for private school and homeschool students. Depending on income, the state will credit $5,000-7,500 per student at a private school or $1000 per student for homeschooling.

Families with household incomes of $150,000 or less should receive priority consideration if they submit their applications before Feb. 1, 2024. The application window opens at 8:30 a.m Dec. 1.

After processing applications submitted in time from families with household incomes of $150,000 or less, the OTC will process remaining applications in the order it received them until it reaches the annual cap.

The annual cap for tax year 2024 is $150 million. For tax year 2025, it’s $200 million, and for tax year 2026, it’s $250 million.

Since the proposed rules came out earlier this month, lawmakers have called for changes to make the program more accessible, and the OTC implemented some of those. For instance, instead of requiring a separate application for each child, families can now submit one application for their whole household.

But other wanted rule changes may be out of the purview of OTC. One of the most common complaints was that families had to submit applications by the tax year instead of the school year. That could require a legislative fix.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat’s office responded in a statement to StateImpact, saying Treat acknowledges there may be a need for the legislature to step in.

“However, he is pleased with the collaboration and progress the Tax Commission has made in formulating the rules thus far,” the statement reads. “The biggest and most important takeaways are — the money is there for school choice, the application process is set to start on time next month and will help Oklahoma families get the best education for their kids.”

More information and FAQs can be found on the OTC’s website.

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Beth Wallis is StateImpact Oklahoma's education reporter.
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