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Wed, Apr 06, 2011

Reestablished Tax Credit Will Bolster Oklahoma Aerospace

Governor Signs Bill That Offers Incentives For Hiring Aerospace Engineers

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (pictured) has signed into law a measure reestablishing tax credits for engineers going to work for Oklahoma companies as well as the companies that hire them. The bill restores a tax incentive that was put on moratorium last year by the Oklahoma state legislature.

"The aerospace engineer tax credits have demonstrated their value as an important tool for job creation and economic growth in Oklahoma," said Fallin on Monday. "Aerospace is one of the state's most important, cutting-edge industries, and I'm proud to be able to sign a measure into law that will support our employers and help to bring in quality jobs to the state."

The average salary for an aerospace engineer in Oklahoma is more than $87,000 and the beginning average aerospace engineer salary is more than $66,000. 

"This legislation is particularly significant because aerospace is an industry driven by innovation and truly successful aerospace ventures demand the best, most highly-skilled talent available. We want those companies to be successful here in Oklahoma," said Secretary of Commerce Dave Lopez.  "We are committed to serving the industry through our competitive incentives program and our world-class education and training system. With a rich history and tradition, aerospace is one of Oklahoma's economic pillars."

The legislation extends tax credits of $5,000 a year for up to five years to engineers who are hired in Oklahoma. The companies hiring the engineers will receive a tax credit equal to 10% of the compensation paid to an engineer during the first five years of his or her employment if the engineer graduated from an Oklahoma college. If the engineer graduated from a college outside Oklahoma, the employer will get a tax credit equal to 5% of the compensation paid to the employee during the first five years.

In addition, the law grants Oklahoma aerospace companies a tax credit in the amount of 50% of the tuition reimbursed to a new engineer graduate for the first four years of his or her employment. The tax credit is limited to 50% of the average annual tuition paid by an engineer at a public university in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is home to more than 300 aerospace companies, and another 200 companies that support aerospace/aviation. The industry employs more than 145,000 people, representing an industrial output that exceeds $12 billion and $60.6 million in state sales tax revenue annually.

FMI: www.ok.gov/governor

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