Tax Credit for Rural Physicians Passes House

Mike Seals - March 10, 2021 12:01 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – Doctors practicing in rural areas of the state would qualify for up to a $25,000 tax credit if legislation that passed unanimously in the House on Tuesday is signed into law.

House Bill 2089, authored by House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka and Speaker Pro Tempore O’Donnell, would grant the tax credit on income from compensation directly related to the practice of medicine or osteopathic medicine by a qualifying physician.

“We want to improve health outcomes for all Oklahomans, including those who choose to live in rural areas,” Speaker McCall said. “This bill will help incentive physicians to move to our rural areas and help us achieve that goal.”

O’Donnell presented the bill on the House floor ushering it to passage.

“We want our rural communities to thrive,” O’Donnell said. “To achieve that we must provide vital services such as doctors and other health care specialists in close proximity. This measure hopefully will motivate more physicians to choose the rural way of life and increase access to such care.”

HB 2089 defines qualifying doctor as a medical doctor or osteopathic physician:

  • who is licensed in Oklahoma on, after, or at any time within the two years prior to January 1, 2022, but not earlier than January 1, 2020;
  • who has graduated from a college of medicine or has completed residency in Oklahoma; and
  • whose primary residence is located in the same county as the qualifying rural area or within the jurisdiction of a federally recognized tribe and is directly employed by a tribally owned or operated health facility or federal Indian Health Service facility.

Doctors qualifying for the tax credit will be allowed to receive it for four subsequent years as long as they remain qualified. There would be a $1 million cap on the cumulative total of credits that could be claimed in any one year.

The measure defines rural area as a municipality or unincorporated location that has a population not exceeding 25,000, as determined by the most recent federal census, and is at least 25 miles from the boundary of the nearest municipality in Oklahoma with a population exceeding 25,000.

HB2089 passed with a vote of 92-0. It is now eligible to be considered by the Senate where it is authored by Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada.

 

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