OKLAHOMA CITY—American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Cooperative is pleased with agriculture sales tax exemption legislation recently passed by the Oklahoma Legislature. Senate Bill 422, authored by Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Springer) and Rep. Dell Kerbs (R-Shawnee), passed the Senate 45-0 May 19 and the House 96-0 May 24.

SB 422 provides clarification and flexibility to farmers and ranchers applying for or renewing an agricultural sales tax exemption permit. Applicants can now qualify for the exemption by providing satisfactory documentation from one of four categories—a federal tax form, such as a
Schedule F, Form 4835, Form 1065, or an equivalent IRS form; a one-page business description form provided by the Oklahoma Tax Commission; a USDA FSA number or program form; or other documents the Oklahoma Tax Commission sees fit to verify involvement in production agriculture.

“Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers are an integral part of our state’s economy; it is essential we foster a regulatory environment that keeps farming operations successful and encourages the next generation of producers,” said AFR President Scott Blubaugh. “Clarifying Oklahoma’s agricultural sales tax exemption process will provide certainty to our producers, while also providing eligibility guidelines for regulators that ensure the ag sales tax exemption is reserved for active farmers and ranchers.”

A coalition of Oklahoma’s agriculture organizations urged passage of SB 422. The bill was considered to be the best option to ensure producers could secure a state agriculture sales tax exemption permit, while also preventing fraud in the sales tax exemption process.

“In today’s challenging legislative environment, I’m pleased to say this bill was championed by the entire agriculture community,” said Blubaugh. “It will help reduce fraud in the agriculture sales tax exemption and create certainty amongst producers and regulators alike. AFR Cooperative is glad to support it.”

AFR Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR principles.