NORMAN — Two of the six state questions on November’s ballot deal with ad valorem or property tax issues. State Question 758 would apply to all property taxes. If approved, the measure would limit annual increases in property taxes to 3 percent. The current cap is at 5 percent.
Educators are concerned about the impact that these ad valorem bills would have on school funding.
“I think the capping of ad valorem — which is an important local revenue to the district — is significant, but it is really significant in the light of all of the other revenue shortfalls we’re experiencing,” said Norman Schools Superintendent Joe Siano.
“My real concern is if you take the state question on the ad valorem cap and you add the state question on intangible value, and you add on what appears to be a very dedicated movement toward eliminating or reducing the state income tax, we seem to be creating a significant revenue hole without hearing any options of how that hole is going to be filled.”
How is property value determined?
Ad valorem taxes are based on the fair cash value of property. Under state law, the county assessor’s staff must do a physical inspection of property every four years. The Oklahoma Tax Commission requires each county to set up a plan for these inspections, according to Cleveland County Assessor David Tinsley.
To accomplish this, the county is divided into quadrants, and one quadrant is inspected each year. In addition to the physical inspections, the assessor’s office re-examines the market annually.
“We look at the market by analysis every year,” Tinsley said.
That analysis includes the prices of similar properties sold in the same area.
How will SQ 758 change collections?
SQ 758 will not affect the market value assessment of properties, but it will affect how much tax can be collected on property each year.