On May 2, 1890, Congress passed the Organic Act, officially creating Oklahoma Territory.
Section six of the Organic Act states that all property must be taxed in proportion to its value, which is the meaning of ad valorem, a Latin phrase meaning "according to value."
As your Logan County Assessor, I am committed to fulfilling that legal obligation in a fair and equitable manner.
As I campaigned for office, I talked to hundreds of Logan County residents and took careful note of their concerns. I continue to keep these concerns in mind as I conduct the property review process and work to ensure that your property is assessed fairly.
It was my intent then and is now, to maintain an open door policy. Please feel free to contact my office whenever you have a question or concern.
And…thank you for providing me the opportunity to serve as your county assessor.
DEADLINE NEARS TO FILE FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION TAX SAVINGS
Homeowners who wish to save on their 2016 property taxes still have until March 15 to file for Homestead Exemption. This exemption typically saves taxpayers $73 to $107, depending on the school district in which they live.
To qualify for Homestead Exemption in 2016, you must have owned and lived on your property as of January 1 of this year. Your deed must also be on file in the county clerk’s office.
Once you have filed for Homestead, the exemption remains in effect as long as you own and remain on the property. You need not file annually.
To apply for Homestead Exemption, contact the County Assessor’s office at 405.282.3509. Applications can be completed over the phone and mailed or emailed to you for a signature. You can also apply in person at 312 E. Harrison, Suite 102. The assessor’s office is located north of the courthouse in the courthouse annex. Entrance is on the east side of the building.
To view a complete list of exemptions and to see if you qualify for additional tax savings, click the “Important Dates” tab.
VALUATION NOTICES MAILED FEBRUARY 12, 2016
Each year county assessors are required by law to determine property values. If there is an increase in the value of Real, Commercial or Mobile Home Personal Property, we must notify you on a form provided by the Oklahoma Tax Commission called the “Notice of Increase in Valuation.” If there is no increase in value, no notice is provided.
The notice is NOT a tax bill. It is information which provides you an opportunity to review the assessed value of your property and to contact the assessor’s office if you have questions.
Sometimes the form used to provide notice is a little difficult to understand. The purpose of this article is to help clarify the content. (A sample of the form can be found at the bottom of this web page).
As a taxpayer, if you disagree with the value placed on your property, you have an opportunity to appeal. This appeal must be made within thirty (30) days of the mailing date of the notice. Appeals must be submitted on Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) Form 974. This form is available from the assessor’s office or can be downloaded from the website under “Forms.” Please provide documentation supporting your appeal at the time of the informal hearing.
Line 1 on the Notice of Increase in Valuation identifies what we believe to be the Fair Cash Value of your property. This value is determined by data we enter into our computer system based upon visual inspection of your property. Values can change from year to year due to the following reasons.
•An increase in overall market values in your area
•New construction on the property
•Field appraisers observing property undervalued or not previously reported
•A change in ownership where the previous owner’s exemptions were removed due to the sale. As a result, property is taxed at full market value.
If any of these apply to your property, this may be why you received a Notice of Increase in Valuation.
Line 2 identifies the Taxable Value of your property. Don’t panic! Even if the fair cash value of your property increased, the amount of tax you pay due to the increase is “capped.”
In Oklahoma, the tax on your property cannot increase more than 3% per year on homestead property and AG land. All other properties are capped at a 5% increase unless there is new construction.
That is why it is helpful to apply for Homestead Exemption. It can save you $73 to $107 per year on your taxes, depending on the school district in which you live.
Sometimes a Notice of Increase in Valuation will indicate a decrease in the fair cash value, but the taxable value still shows an increase. This is because the tax continues to climb 3% to 5% per year until the capped amount reaches Fair Cash Value. Once these values are equal, your tax should level off, unless market values increase or taxes are affected by a school bond, fire district tax, etc.
Line 3 states the County Assessment Percentage for property in Logan County. For real property the rate is 11%. For Personal Mobile Homes and Business Personal Property it is 10%. These are the lowest rates allowable by law, and can only be increased by voter approval.
Line 4 provides the current Assessed Value of your property. This is the amount to use to estimate the tax you will pay based on your increase letter. Multiply the current assessed value x the tax rate of your school district. The result should give you an idea of what your new tax will be.
Click on the “Important Dates” link for information on how to save money on your taxes and to see if you qualify for exemptions.
Homestead Exemption and other Property Tax Relief available through County Assessor’s Office
If you own property in Logan County, you probably opened your mail box recently to discover your annual ad valorem or “property tax” statement. Hopefully you were one of those who applied for the Homestead Exemption and benefited from a reduction in your taxes. If not, here is information on various exemptions and how the process works so you can save money in 2016.
Homestead Exemption exempts $1,000 from the assessed value of your property. If your property is valued at $100,000, the assessed value of your home is $11,000, since the county-wide assessment ratio is 11%. Homestead Exemption lowers this assessed value to $10,000. Depending on the school district in which you live, the exemption can save you $73 to $107 on your tax bill.
To qualify for Homestead Exemption, you must own and occupy your property as of January 1. If you apply after March 15, the exemption goes into effect the following year. It’s important to note that though a person may own multiple properties, Homestead Exemption can apply only to the one where you live.
Though the deadline to file for Homestead Exemption is March 15, we are happy to help you complete the application at any time. The simplest way to do this is by calling the assessor’s office at 282.3509. We will fill out the form for you and then mail or email it to you to sign and return. You can also come by the office at 312 E. Harrison to pick up an application. You do not have to reapply for this exemption annually. It is good for as long as you own and live on your property.
An additional exemption available is Double Homestead. This exemption is income-based. To qualify, you must have regular Homestead Exemption and be head of household with a gross household income of $20,000 or less for the past calendar year. You apply for this exemption each year, between Jan. 1 and March 15. Bring proof of the previous year's income to the assessor’s office and we will be glad to complete the paperwork for you.
The Property Valuation Limitation is another exemption helpful for senior citizens. This is commonly called “the freeze.” To qualify for this, you need to be age 65 or older with a gross household income of $61,400 or less for 2015. (The amount is determined annually by HUD, but you can always call our office to obtain this information). The exemption freezes the appraised value of your homestead property the year you complete the application. The appraised value remains the same until ownership changes or new improvements are added. However, it does not freeze the amount of tax a person pays to fire or school districts. When you apply for this exemption, you need to provide proof of age and total household income from the prior year. As long as your income stays below the HUD level, you don’t have to reapply.
For more information about these and other ad valorem tax exemptions that may save you money, feel free to call 282.3509, pick up a brochure at the assessor’s office, or see the “important dates” link on this web page. You can also read about ad valorem exemptions on the Oklahoma Tax Commission’s website at www.ok.gov/tax.
WHERE DOES MY TAX MONEY GO?
Each year you receive a tax statement based on the value of your property, but do you know where the money goes? Do you know what you are paying for?
The attached Tax Levy Table is an example illustrating how ad valorem tax on a $100,337 property is used.
Since the county assessment ratio is 11%, this property has an assessed value of $11,037. ($100,037 x .11). The property owner filed for Homestead Exemption, so the taxable value was reduced to $10,037.
The description column on the tax table identifies entities which receive money from the value of this property. These include:
• Logan County Government, with a millage of 16.89, receives $169.52. This money is used to fund various county offices, such as that of county clerk, assessor, treasurer, sheriff and health department.
• The Guthrie School District, at 43.96 mills, gets $441.23. This is allocated for the general fund, building fund and EMS district. (Millage rates for schools differ based on the district in which one resides.)
• Vo-Tech District 16, with a millage rate of 15.37, receives $154.27 for their general fund and building fund. All of this adds up to a total tax rate of 76.22 mills, and a total property tax of $765. Some Tax Levy Tables also include a Fire District millage, but this property was not subject to that tax due to its location.
A frequent question we receive at the assessor’s office is, “If a school bond passes, will it affect my property tax?”
Here is basic information about how to compute your property tax.
First, find the fair cash value of your home. This information is available through the “Search Records” link on this web page or by calling our office at 282-3509.
1. If the fair cash value of your home is $100,000, multiply $100,000 x .11. This amounts to $11,000, the assessed value of your property. (11% is the county assessment ratio).
2. If you have Homestead Exemption, subtract $1000 from $11,000.
3. Multiply the remaining $10,000 by the current tax rate of the school district in which you live. (See tax table.) If you live in Crescent School District, multiply $10,000 by .09484. In Edmond, by .09705. In Guthrie, by .07622. Convert to decimals since a mill is $1 per $1000 of assessed value, or .001.
4. If you use the 76.22 millage rate, multiply $10,000 x .07622. This amounts to $762 in property tax.
If a bond issue increases the tax rate by 15.67 mills, add 15.67 to 76.22. The new millage rate will be 91.89.
5. Using the revised rate, compute your new tax by multiplying $10,000 x .09189. Your property tax is now $919.
If you live in Oak Cliff or Woodcrest Fire Districts, you must also include an additional tax. The Oak Cliff levy is .00722. Woodcrest is .006.
To compute this, multiply the initial assessed value of $11,000 in the example above by the appropriate fire district levy.
Example: $11,000 x .006 = $66. Add this to $919. Your total tax is now $985.
Valuation Notices Mailed March 2
Each year, the county assessor is required by law to mail a Notice of Increase in Valuation of Real, Commercial and Personal Property to those whose property has increased in value. This year, the Logan County Assessor’s office mailed notices March 2. The notice is NOT a tax bill. It is information which provides you an opportunity to review the assessed value of your property and to contact the assessor’s office if you have questions.
We do not mail notices if values remain the same or are lowered.
Some reasons for a valuation increase commonly include the following:
- Overall market values for properties in your area increased
- There was new construction on the property
- The property changed ownership and the previous owner’s exemptions or “cap” were removed as a result of the sale
- Field appraisers performing visual inspection observed real property undervalued or not previously placed on the assessment roll
As a taxpayer, if you disagree with the value placed on your property, you have an opportunity to appeal. This appeal must be made within thirty (30) days of the mailing date of the notice.
Appeals must be submitted on Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) Form 974. This form is available from the assessor’s office or can be downloaded from the website under “Forms.”
Please provide documentation supporting your appeal at the time of the informal hearing.
The complete appeals process is described on the Notice of Increase in Valuation.
Exemptions Offset Valuation Increases
Click on the “Important Dates” link on this website to access information about exemptions which may lower your taxes and help offset any increase in valuation.
The example below illustrates the change in valuation process and how filing for Homestead Exemption can decrease your tax bill.
The example above indicates the current year’s fair cash value on a home increased from $261,632 to $288,893. Because this property did not have Homestead Exemption, it was subject to a 5% increase. A new improvement, a fence, valued at $500, was added to the assessment. This brought the current year’s taxable value to $275,213. The formula is as follows:
$261,632 x 5% = $13,082
Now add the 5% increase and the $500 improvement:
$261,632 + $13,081 + $500 = $275,213
The taxable value for the 5% increase is $275,213
Had the homeowner filed for Homestead Exemption, the preceding year’s amount of $261,632 would have increased by only 3%. The formula would be:
$261,632 x 3% = $7,849
$261,632 + $7,849 + $500 new improvements = $269,981.
The taxable value for the 3% increase would have been $269,981.
As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact the assessor’s office at 405.282.3509. I and my staff are happy to do our best to respond to your inquiries and to assist you in completing any exemption applications.
Posted February 27, 2015