- Associated Press - Monday, February 9, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Dozens of bills filed this year offering an array of tax deductions for things like hearing aids, child care expenses and certain types of income won’t get a hearing this year in a key House committee, the chairman of the panel announced Monday.

Rep. David Dank said any bills assigned to his House Appropriations Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation that have a negative fiscal impact on state revenues won’t be heard, no matter how worthy the cause.

“It is time to draw a line in the sand and say no more,” Dank, R-Oklahoma City, said in a statement. “Proposals to give away more state funds or to siphon money from one pocket to another will be dead on arrival in my subcommittee this session.”

Dank has long been a critic of the hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax credits and exemptions claimed every year, a drain on the state budget that is coming under increased scrutiny as legislators are wrangling with a projected $300 million shortfall for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That hole in the budget is expected to grow larger when the final revenue certification is determined next week.

Lawmakers have introduced dozens of bills this year to grant sales tax exemptions for things like hearing aids or the American Legion, or income tax exemptions for certain child care expenses or certain forms of income. Those bills are typically assigned to Dank’s committee.

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