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Incentives

Norman and the State of Oklahoma promote job creation by offering various business incentives that benefit employers and community employees. These incentives include tax abatements, general project support from full-time staff, cash payments for qualifying companies, specialized employee training for newly created jobs, and much more.

Aggressive business incentives are essential to fostering a healthy business environment, and the Norman business community utilizes every resource at its disposal to minimize costs and maximize benefits.

Local Incentives

Tax Increment Financing: Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a public financing tool municipalities use to stimulate economic development in a specific area. A Tax Increment Financing District (TIF District) is a designated geographical area where the local government allocates future increases in sales taxes to encourage public and private investment in that area.

Here's how it generally works:

  1. Establishment of the TIF District: The local government identifies a specific area that needs economic development or redevelopment. This area is designated as a TIF District.
  2. Base Tax Value: The tax revenue generated from the properties in the TIF District is determined when establishing the TIF District. This value is called the "base value."
  3. Freeze on Taxes: The taxes collected based on the base value continue to go to the various taxing entities, such as schools, counties, and municipalities, as they did before the TIF District was established.
  4. Capture of Incremental Taxes: Any increase in value and, consequently, tax revenue above the base value is considered the "increment." This increment is then captured by the local government and earmarked for economic development within the TIF District.
  5. Use of Incremental Funds: The local government can use the captured funds to finance public infrastructure projects, such as streets, utilities, parking facilities, and other improvements, to encourage private investment and development in the TIF District.
  6. Limited Duration: TIF Districts typically have a set duration ranging from 10 to 30 years. After this period, the TIF District is dissolved, and the taxing entities receive the total tax revenue generated by the increased values.

TIF is intended to promote economic growth, job creation, and community revitalization by leveraging the anticipated increase in tax values within a specific area.

State Incentives

The state of Oklahoma promotes the creation of quality jobs for its residents. Employers who meet specific criteria may be rewarded for contributing to this goal to capitalize on the trained workforce and improve the quality of life for Oklahoma residents by increasing median wages. Significant business incentives applicable across the state of Oklahoma include the following:

The Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program
This incentive program provides quarterly cash payments of up to 5% of newly created gross taxable payroll to a qualifying company. Payments are made quarterly for three years. If thresholds are achieved, they may extend for an additional seven years.

Incentive Criteria, Thresholds, and Requirements:

  • Cash payments of up to 5% of new payroll for up to 10 years Must Average County Wage of $45,365 in Cleveland County Must achieve a $2.5M annual payroll within three years Rebate opportunity available if 10% of new payroll includes qualified veterans
  • Must offer basic health insurance
  • Target Industries: Manufacturing and R&D, including wind power manufacturing, corporate services, and data centers

Small Employer Quality Jobs Incentive Act
This cash program provides incentive payments to a qualifying small employer. The incentive payments may reach 5% of the new taxable payroll and last up to seven years.

Incentive Criteria, Thresholds, and Requirements:

  • Cash payments of up to 5% of new payroll for up to seven years
  • Qualifying payroll must be attributable to average county wages that are at least $49,902 in Cleveland County
  • No more than 500 employees at the time of application
  • Must offer basic health insurance
  • Some out-of-state sales requirements apply; check the totalIncentives and Tax Guide below for more details
  • Target Industries: Manufacturing, research anddevelopment, corporate services, communication services, medical testing laboratories, and data processing services

21st Century Quality Jobs Incentive Act

The intended purpose of this program is to promote impactful, high-wage jobs without competing against existing incentives. To help accomplish this, an enhanced list of qualifying industries has been added beyond those eligible for the Quality Jobs Program. Qualifying companies may be eligible for up to twice the net benefit rate of the Quality Jobs program or 10% of the taxable payroll of these new jobs to be paid in cash quarterly. The program lasts for up to 10 years.

Incentive Criteria, Thresholds, and Requirements:

  • Allows a net benefit rate of up to 10% of payroll for up to 10 years
  • Requires at least ten full-time jobs at an average county wages of $136,095.
  • Out-of-state sales must be at least 50%
  • Target Industries: Knowledge-based service industries,including professional, scientific, and technical services; music, film, and performing arts; and specialty hospitals

Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions:

New and expanding qualifying manufacturers, research and development companies, certain computer services and data processing companies with significant out-of-state sales, and aircraft repair and distribution companies may be eligible for ad valorem exemptions for up to five years.

Exempt Inventory:

Oklahoma’s Freeport Law exempts goods, wares, and merchandise from taxation outside the state. It leaves within nine months, where such goods, wares, and inventory are held within the state for assembly, storage, manufacturing, processing, or fabricating purposes.

Employee Training for Industry:

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education (Career Tech) assists qualifying businesses by paying for training for employees in newly created jobs. Training can be done at one of 29 Technology Centers on

60 campuses, including the Moore Norman Technology Center in Norman or the company’s facility. Training agreements include instructor costs. Program services are determined by the number of new jobs created in targeted industries, wage rates, and benefits provided.

Click here to see our State Incentive Guide.