The Edmond Sun

Local News

November 3, 2012

SQ 758 might limit property tax increases

EDMOND — Voters will go to the polls Nov. 6 to decide whether to approve State Question 758, a measure to limit ad valorem taxation on valuation increases, according to the ballot.

The fair cash value of the property is a measure of ad valorem taxes. Passage of SQ 758 would change the limits on fair cash value increases from 5 percent to 3 percent for homestead exempted property and agricultural land.

“I’m very hopeful it will pass and put the cap on increasing valuations from 5 percent to 3 percent,” said state Sen. Greg Treat, R-Oklahoma City.

State Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said House District 31 residents consider it a priority to cap ad valorem taxes. Lowering the cap would nearly reduce tax rate increases by 50 percent, he said.

“Over the years they’ve made it very clear that the property tax which potentially can double every 14 years or so, punishes those who have worked a lifetime to earn their home,” Murphey said.

A large property tax payment looms for homeowners to cope with even after they have paid off their mortgages, he added.

The proposed cap of 3 percent is a good start but even a 3 percent cap will hurt a homeowner’s ability to stay in their home, said state Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond.

SQ 758 was sent to the general election ballot in 2011 sponsorship by then-Sen. Jim Reynolds and state Rep. David Dank, both Oklahoma City Republicans.

“We’re talking about future increases. So right now increase in the county is below 3 percent. So we really shouldn’t see any dramatic change in things,” said Larry Stein, deputy chief of the Oklahoma County Assessor’s Office.

He said the school districts may have a concern with the reduction of the increases. Loss of revenue, however, will merely reduce the growth without making reductions, Stein said.

“We wish the Legislature would have started paying their bills first, like the additional homestead they haven’t paid since 2002 to the Oklahoma counties which is more than $50 million for all Oklahoma 77 counties,” Stein said. “We were hoping they would address some of those issues before they started making dramatic changes in the ad valorem laws.”

TO LEARN MORE about Oklahoma state questions, go to https://www.sos.ok.gov/gov/proposed_questions.aspx.

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