Stitt Vetoes Proposed Cut to Affordable Housing Tax Credit

May 19, 2020

Oklahoma’s affordable housing tax credit will not be touched going into next fiscal year.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has vetoed House Bill 2760, which would have cut its annual cap from $4 million to $2 million.

Mental Health Association Oklahoma Chief Housing Officer Greg Shinn said Stitt’s veto message correctly noted cutting the incentive would not provide more money for the state budget until fiscal year 2023.

"So, I think it was two things: understanding it will have no impact on the state budget now and understanding the economic impacts — the positive economic impacts — of the development of affordable housing," Shinn said.

According to a study commissioned by the Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing, $19.1 million in tax credits awarded since 2015 will have an $839 million overall economic impact in the state.

Stitt also noted the cut was retroactive and would have affected projects already in progress.

Rep. Monroe Nichols (D-Tulsa) fought hard against HB2760.

"I think it’s going to have a great impact on Tulsa. There’s a huge need in our community, in our city, in my district and all across the city for affordable housing units," Nichols said. "I think they talk about you shouldn’t spend more than 30% on housing, and I know if we look across the community, there’s a lot of folks who are just going broke to put a roof over their heads, and that’s something that desperately needs to change."

A bill Nichols carried last year lifted a population cap on the state affordable housing tax credit so projects in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties could claim it starting Nov. 1, 2019. Before that, they could claim only a federal one.