NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
The Cleveland County Equalization Board supposedly provides a platform to the citizens.
This gives them an opportunity to discuss their property tax increases to the front of the board. If you do not agree with the increase of your property tax and expect a fair and balanced explanation, you should prepare yourself for a surprise when you go to the hearing with the board.
Any evidence presented by a citizen will carry very little weight. The evidence will be disregarded and will not be discussed in the hearing. You get the strong feeling that you are wasting their time.
But the response from the Cleveland County Assessor’s Office will dominate the final decision.
Even if you show any expert opinion report and pictures, it is a waste of time and money. The board most likely will disregard these facts. Since the decision was already made by the board, the final decision will be against you. Your hope for reducing this increase of the property tax will not happen because of this cleverly designed setup.
I understand that the County Assessor’s Office collects as much property tax as possible from the citizens. But the Equalization Board should be neutral and reasonable to the citizens. The Board is acting like an agency for the Cleveland County Assessor’s Office. They should be independent, fair and balanced.
I hope this unfair treatment of the citizens is not their usual policy. It may be just behavior of the persons on the Board. After all they are getting paid by the taxpayers and not by a special interest group.