Benefits in my Backyard: Oklahoma

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:17 pm

Dreamstime

The Sooner State is home to just over 300,000 veterans.  In fact, one out of every 10 people in OK are veterans. The state nickname has a dubious start.  Before 1907, when Oklahoma became the 47th state in the Union, they had “land runs” where settlers could cross the border at a preset time to claim homesteads. Anyone who crossed the line before the hour was called a “sooner.”

Many states have official state foods, but Oklahoma actually has an official state meal consisting of black-eyed peas, chicken-fried steak, okra, squash, corn on the cob, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, strawberries and pecan pie!   

Most of us deal with an OK inventions all the time.  In 1937 the owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain created the “folding basket carrier” which would eventually develop into the shopping cart. Voicemail was patented by a man from Oklahoma. The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935.

For odd state laws, since 1910 there’s been a law on the books that prohibits cursing. You’re charged $1 per swear word if caught.  File this law under “LOVES IT!” because in OK, you can be charged $1,000 for touching someone’s glasses or anything that’s used to communicate, see, hear or maneuver. And not sure why, but it’s still illegal for bar owners to let patrons pretend to have sex with buffalo in the state. You’re also banned from taking a bite from another person’s hamburger. It’s illegal to wear boots to bed. Whaling is illegal in this land-locked state. And you can be fined and possibly even jailed if you’re caught making ugly faces at dogs.

Taxes

Oklahoma waives either $10,000 or 75 percent of retirement income from taxation if you’re a retired service member.

  • Property Tax. Veterans with a 100 percent, permanent, disabled-service connected disability may be exempt from paying property tax. You’ll need an honorable discharge and a letter stating your disability certified by VA. 
  • Income Tax. The first $1,500 of active duty pay is deducted from taxable income.
  • Motor Vehicle Exemption. May be claimed on one vehicle for three years by any single qualifying veteran. This does not apply to boats or motors. This can’t be applied to surviving spouses of veterans. For more information contact your local tag agent office.  

Education

Career

  • Veterans receive preference points when testing for open and open non-promotional examinations for state jobs.
  • Disabled Veterans with 30 percent or more service-connected disability may be hired directly.
    • 10 points: veterans with written proof of a service-connected disability
    • 5 points: veterans with honorable discharge, unremarried surviving spouse of veteran or spouse of veterans who are unemployable due to service-connected disability.
  • Workforce Oklahoma Locations. Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives are at many Workforce locations. They can help disabled veterans with counselling, testing and help identify training and employment opportunities.
  • Tulsa Glassblowing School has a free six week glassblowing program for veterans.

Family

Entertainment

  • Fishing/Hunting licenses. Veterans with at least a 60 percent, service-connected disability may buy a lifetime hunting/fishing license for $25.00. Veterans with less than 60 percent disability may purchase the same license for $200.00.
  • Admission to State Parks. Veterans with an honorable discharge and are a current state resident are allowed free admission to all state-owned or state-operated parks and museums. You’ll need a valid state driver license and proof of your discharge.

Housing

Cemetery and Burial

  • Veterans residing in the state are eligible to receive certain end of live benefits.  For more information call (405) 523-4000.
  • Eligibility Determination Form.  Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death. This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery. There is no cost for this.

Links or Resources