New proposal could give Oklahomans tax breaks when buying quake insurance

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OKLAHOMA CITY - One state representative's new proposal could give Oklahomans who buy earthquake insurance a tax break.

The proposal would cover people who've bought insurance previously.

State Rep. Mike Shelton (D, District 97) says the people of Oklahoma need to get reimbursed for the extra money.

"People saw the writing on the walls several years ago but they've been slow to work at it," Rep. Shelton says.

Rep. Shelton says he's had enough, echoing the sentiment of many Oklahomans.

"When the earthquakes started in Jones some five years ago, I was the first to offer a piece of legislation to make sure people were aware on what earthquake insurance, their current homeowners policy did not cover earthquake damage," Rep. Shelton says.

Now he's back at it again, but this time, he's looking to get Oklahomans some cash back.

"The people of Oklahoma would not even be buying earthquake insurance had it not been for the drilling," Rep. Shelton said.

His proposed tax credit would also reimburse people who bought insurance in the past.

"It's important the citizens have an opportunity to recoup something that they shouldn't be paying," Rep. Shelton says.

For some people quake insurance has worked, for others, it has not fared well.

"We knew the injection wells were causing these problems, we are being reactive instead of proactive," Rep. Shelton said.

He hopes his proposal doesn't come too late for his fellow Oklahomans.

"I hate to say this, and somebody is going to have to die before we truly act and fix this earthquake thing," Rep. Shelton says.

He is also proposing another bill that would force school districts in the state to go through earthquake drills at least two times a year.

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