Oklahoma Tax Commission Launches Parental Choice Tax Credit Web Portal

The Parental Choice Tax Credit program has launched a web portal after the Oklahoma Tax Commission tasked a third-party vendor to run the program.

Wednesday, November 8th 2023, 6:09 pm

By: News 9, Cameron Joiner


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Oklahoma is one step closer to rolling out the Parental Choice Tax Credit program with a web portal launch. 

The company the Oklahoma Tax Commission has tasked with running is based in California. 

Starting December 1 parents can apply for a refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 to help fund private or home-schooling for their kids. 

The OTC’s decision to enter into a 1-year nearly $4 million contract with a California Company, Merit International, came to light this week. “This is something we never even needed to get into,” State Representative Jacob Rosecrants said. He says he's concerned over the decision to hire out of state. “After the rules came out, we were like whoa whoa we need some tweaks here legislatively,” he said. 

A tax commission spokesperson told News 9 the decision was due to a short window of time to implement the program, adding that a third-party vendor like Merit has valuable experience in this space. “Looks to me like they’re really really popular in the school choice crowd,” Rep. Rosecrants explained. 

The House Republicans Communications Director says they have no comment on OTC's decision. Rosecrants says now that the program is here, he wants to see more oversight with Merit, citing past issues with programs like ClassWallet. “Are we giving the power to the vendor? Who oversees the vendor? Will this be a situation to just sign blanket approvals?” Rep. Rosecrants said, outlining some of his questions. “We don’t know and that’s a problem. I want those answers.” 

OTC says it will be in charge of verifying taxpayer identity, school accreditation, student household income, and student enrollment. Additionally, it will oversee the release of funds, and checks will be sent to the schools to be endorsed by the taxpayer. 

Previously we reported local Catholic schools saw a hike in tuition rates after the tax credit program was announced. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said in a statement Wednesday, quote, “...moving tuition rates closer to the actual cost to educate per student…”

The statement continues, saying financial aid options will be available for families in need of assistance.

Related Articles: When You Can Apply: Private Or Homeschool Tax Credit Information

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