BOBBY ROSS JR. Published: Thu, August 3, 2000 12:00 AM

A new state law that affects an estimated 500,000 Oklahomans means the man who fixes your toilets and the woman who cleans your teeth must pay their taxes or risk losing their professional licenses.

So must Rover’s favorite pet doctor and the friendly neighborhood pharmacist.

Senate Bill 1040, passed in the final days of the 2000 Legislature, requires state tax compliance before a person can get or renew an occupational license.

The law affects everyone, from attorneys to barbers to engineers to real estate agents.


Before granting an occupational license, state boards must submit the applicant’s name and Social Security number to the Oklahoma Tax Commission to make sure the person has no tax problems.

In cases where applicants owe back taxes or have not filed their tax forms for a particular year, the commission will contact them and try to work out a solution, agency spokeswoman Paula Ross said Wednesday.

“It may be a payment plan,” Ross said. “It may be something where they just procrastinated. So hopefully, we can work with them to take care of this.

“Obviously, people need their licenses for their livelihoods, and we don’t want to interfere with that,” Ross said.

Maybe THEY abolished the law?

But some Oklahoma professionals contacted Wednesday said the law goes too far.

“If you owe taxes, that’s between you and the tax commission,” said barber Bill Hartman, owner of Ace Haircutters in southwest Oklahoma City.

“There’s a lot of people who may owe a few dollars, or they may owe a few hundred thousand dollars. But that shouldn’t make a difference in whether a person can go out and earn a living and feed the family,” Hartman said.

Any time the government tries to keep people from earning a living, it’s bad business, Hartman said.

Of 1,200 license applications reviewed since the law took effect July 1, 150 people – 12.5 percent – had a tax problem, Ross said.

“Those are not denials yet,” she said. “Those are people we are just going to work with.”

The law gives the tax commission 30 days to act on applications.

Leaders of some licensing boards fear the law could delay licenses and create an administrative burden.


Carroll Fisher, State Insurance Commissioner, notified licensed state insurance companies of the law in a letter dated Monday. Fisher urged agents and companies to seek their licenses early.

“We understand the inconvenient time delay this law imposes and are trying to do everything we can to expedite the process,” Fisher wrote.

Lyle Kelsey is executive director of the Oklahoma Medical Licensure Board, which licenses medical doctors, physician assistants and physical therapists. Kelsey said his board is waiting for the tax commission to develop a mechanism for receiving and reviewing the information.

“I think it’s going to be a major, major headache not only for the agencies, but I think the professionals themselves will have a great deal of concern,” Kelsey said.

“I’m assuming most of the tax commission’s review will revolve around the Social Security number – that’s a very sensitive issue in this day and time with security and confidentiality.”

Among professions covered under the law are accountants, attorneys, architects, chiropractors, commercial drivers, cosmetologists, dentists, embalmers/funeral workers, engineers, insurance agents and companies, medical doctors, nurses and optometrists.

Also subject to the law are pharmacists, real estate agents, security brokers and agents, speech pathologists, veterinarians, building inspectors, electricians, plumbers and emergency medical technicians.


Tax commission officials aren’t sure whether the law applies to Oklahoma’s 48,000 certified teachers, Ross said Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for state schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett said Wednesday an agency attorney would review the issue.

Senate Bill 1040 – not to be confused with the federal tax form by the same number – passed the state Senate, 27-17, and the House, 85-13.

The section concerning occupational licensing and tax compliance took up less than two pages of the 61-page bill.

All Senate Republicans who voted and one-third of House Republicans opposed the bill, as did four Senate Democrats.

However, state Finance Director Tom Daxon, an appointee of Republican Gov. Frank Keating, pushed for the tax compliance requirement.

The only people hurt by the law are those who haven’t paid their taxes and should, said Shawn Ashley, a spokesman for Daxon’s office.

“The honest people, the people out there who are doing what they’re supposed to in terms of paying their taxes, are not going to be negatively affected by this,” Ashley said Wednesday.

Sen. Angela Monson, D-Oklahoma City, who authored the bill, said the law could help Oklahoma recoup about $2 million in owed taxes this year.


However, some rewriting of the law may be needed in the next legislative session, she said.

“As we’ve written the law, it’s kind of tight,” Monson said. “It leaves not much room for flexibility.”

The intent is not to hold up licenses or place a hardship on anyone, she said.

The tax commission has created a professional licensing compliance unit to administrate the law and answer questions, Ross said.

So far, two people have been assigned to the task, but more may be needed, she said.

“It’s rather overwhelming to start with, but hopefully, we can get it where it’s efficient for us and the boards.”

Archive ID: 815440

“The Site” wonders if this is why the evil cunt that gave birth to it began to actually care about filing her taxes – since Satan aka Evil Cunt that Gave Birth to It is a registered nurse and all?


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