Wind companies currently doing business in Oklahoma are exempt from paying sales tax on new turbines but, according to the most recent SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll, Oklahomans question whether they should be exempt in the first place.

A combined 83.9 percent of likely voting Oklahomans supported the wind industry paying sales tax. Of that, 60 percent strongly supported the measure, and another 23.9 percent somewhat supported it.

[QUESTION] Currently, the wind industry is exempt from sales tax and, if they were charged sales tax like other businesses were in the state, the state could raise 67.5 million this year.  Knowing this, do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE new legislation that would require the wind industry to pay sales tax?

1. Strongly support 60.0
2. Somewhat support 23.9
3. Don’t know/No opinion/Refused [DNR] 6.4
4. Somewhat oppose 5.0
5. Strongly oppose 4.8

The average turbine costs about $2 million, which would generate about $90,000 in revenue under Oklahoma’s statewide 4.5-cent sales tax if wind companies were required to pay sales tax. Counties where wind farms are located would receive added revenue as well, depending on the size of their sales taxes.

According to Southwest Power Pool data, wind developers are expected to add about 750 new turbines in Oklahoma this year, which would mean more than $67 million in sales tax revenue for the state.

Republicans were more likely to support the requirement of wind companies paying sales tax than Democrats or Independents, although 72.4 percent of Democrats supported it and 81.6 percent of Independents.  A combined 93.7 percent of Republicans supported the requirement.

“Oklahomans are aware that the state is in nearly a $1 billion budget deficit,” said Bill Shapard, founder of SoonerPoll, “and every government exemption and giveaway is being scrutinized.”

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters and were written by  These poll questions were commissioned by the Windfall Coalition.

The scientific study was conducted from April 25 – May 1, 2017 with 409 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election. The weighting was conducted using a ‘layered technique.’

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.84 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll’s Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here.  A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

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Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.


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