Oklahoma joins widening group of US states mulling tax incentives for bitcoin miners

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have advanced legislation in recent days that, if finalized, would extend a tax break to bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners that set up shop in the state.

The Commercial Digital Asset Mining Act of 2022, sponsored by state senator John Montgomery and state representative Ryan Martinez, aims to reduce the expenditures related to hardware and electricity used by commercial mining operations. 

"The original intent of the Legislature that the Oklahoma Tax Code recognize[s] the continuing development of new and advanced manufacturing and industrial processing technologies has led to new industrial processes," the bill states. "Blockchain technology used in the commercial mining of digital assets is an industrial process that should be taxed in a manner similar to historical forms of manufacturing or industrial processing in order to encourage the location and expansion of such operations in this state rather than in competing states."

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A report by regional news outlet KOKH indicated that incentives worth a maximum of $5 million are being eyed, citing comments from Sen. Montgomery.

Public records show that the legislation cleared the Oklahoma Senate on March 22 in a 29-16 vote. The bill moved to the legislature's lower chamber on March 23 and was referred to its technology committee on March 30.

Oklahoma is among a growing crop of US states eyeing the expanding bitcoin mining sector. States like Illinois and Georgia are weighing similar measures, and Kentucky's government approved such tax incentives last year. 

Meanwhile, New York lawmakers are pushing for restrictions on the state's mining sector, citing environmental concerns.