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November 5, 2012

Review of state questions

NORMAN — What does a ‘yes,’ ‘no’ vote mean?

With six state questions on the ballot, voters will have a lot of information to remember when they enter the polls. In an effort to inform and educate voters on the upcoming elections, The Transcript has run a series of stories on the questions facing voters, including what a “yes” or “no” vote means. Those articles also attempted to address the main arguments for and against each initiative.

This recap is an attempt to revisit each state question in a summary manner. For more detailed information, check out previous articles online at www.normantranscript.com and click on the Election Coverage link.

 

Ad valorem taxes affected: Two state questions deal with property taxes. One would lower the cap already in place. The other would prohibit taxing businesses on all intangibles. Public schools oppose both questions, but supporters disagree.

SQ 758:

The measure deals with real property taxes, also called ad valorem taxes. These taxes are based on several factors. One factor is the fair cash value of property. The measure changes the limits on increases in fair cash value. Now, increases are limited to 5 percent of fair cash value in any taxable year. The measure changes the cap on increases to 3 percent for some properties. The 3 percent cap would apply to homestead exempted property. The cap would also apply to agricultural land.

A “yes” vote will mean the 3 percent cap applies.

A “no” vote will defeat the measure and retain the current 5 percent cap

Public entities supported by property taxes such as schools, the Pioneer Library System and county government tend to oppose this question and encourage a “no” vote.

“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,” Norman Schools Superintendent Joe Siano said.

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