ADA — Oklahoma Tax Commission introduced a bill to benefit the state’s disabled veterans last summer, however, it was not widely reported, which led to slight confusion.

Section 9 of House Bill 1547 became effective on July 1 of 2005, enabling veterans who are 100 percent disabled to be exempt on paying sales tax on all purchases, excluding gasoline and tobacco products. The card is obtained through the OTC once proof is provided of the veteran's disability.

"I think Oklahoma is doing a bang up job for its veterans," Tupelo resident Craig Turney said about the exemption program. "They're actually treating us very well."

Turney said he had slight problems with the exemption when it was first introduced, however it has since been corrected.

"The OTC has gotten the word out to all of the businesses," he said. "It's working great now."

With an estimated 9,600 disabled veterans in Oklahoma, many residents can benefit from the sales tax break.

"It's increased the business from veterans," said Staples assistant manager Brett Hagar. He said an average of 20 disabled veterans per week participate in the program.

"It's a great benefit to our veterans and it's something they deserve," said Wal-Mart SuperCenter store manager Bruce Cowart. "For the most part it's been running pretty smooth."

Any veteran who is 100 percent disabled is eligible for the card. Once they have requested and received a letter from the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs stating they are disabled, it is then to be submitted to the OTC. According to the OTC Website, (www.oktax.state.ok.us) there is no fee for the exemption card.

Not all vendors are required to accept the card, however. In such a situation, the veteran is to pay the full amount, with tax included, and then fill out form 13-9 from the OTC Website and submit it with a receipt of purchase for a tax refund.