Oklahoma’s tax credit for catching feral hogs moves forward

A new bill passed by the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee in Oklahoma could potentially offer tax credits of up to $15,000 for agricultural landowners.

The Finance Committee will now review the bill for further consideration.

The Oklahoma Feral Hog Trapping Tax Credit Act, also known as House Bill 3504, aims to provide an income tax credit to individuals who own 20 or more acres of agricultural land. This credit will help offset the expenses associated with acquiring feral hog trapping equipment.

According to the bill, individuals would be eligible for a tax credit that amounts to 70% of their qualifying expenses, with a maximum limit of $15,000 per tax year.

According to the bill’s author, Senator Cody Rogers, the estimated fiscal impact amounts to $1.5 million.

Senator Warren Hamilton, a Republican from McCurtain, raised concerns about the detrimental financial consequences caused by feral hogs on agricultural land in Oklahoma.

According to Rogers, the total tax credit could potentially have a fiscal impact that is six times or even 20 times greater in magnitude.

“Sen. Darcy Jech, R-Kingfisher, sought clarification, asking if individuals who are landowners and are safeguarding their own crops would be eligible for this tax credit.”

Rogers verified the truth of that statement.

Rogers clarified that although individuals would indeed receive benefits from the program, they would also need to allocate 30% of the total amount, which stands at $15,000. He emphasized that this tax credit is a one-time opportunity and not a continuous one.

According to the bill, the tax credit is eligible for businesses but not for individuals or businesses that engage in hunting, trapping, or eradicating feral hogs for a fee.

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To be eligible for the tax credit, businesses must possess ownership of a minimum of 20 acres primarily used for agricultural purposes.

Qualified expenses under the act encompass a wide range of measures aimed at effectively controlling and managing feral hog populations, while also minimizing the detrimental impacts on agriculture. These expenses include addressing issues such as the destruction of crops, damage to pastures, soil erosion, and harm to infrastructure. Moreover, the act covers expenses directly related to mitigating the ecological consequences caused by feral hogs, such as soil and water contamination, disruption of native wildlife, and the destruction of natural habitats.

According to the bill, hog trapping equipment may consist of various tools such as drop nets, rooter gates, panel traps, remote-controlled or camera-operated traps, and portable traps.

The members of the Agriculture Committee unanimously approved it.

The act, if approved, will take effect in November. After January 1, 2025, the tax credit will be applicable for taxable years.

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