Monday, March 28, 2011
Weekly Column: Property Tax Reform
Property tax reforms that would put two state questions to Oklahoma voters are now awaiting Senate consideration. House joint resolutions 1001 and 1002 were approved overwhelmingly by House lawmakers.
A recent study by the Tax Foundation showed that Oklahoma has the eighth-fastest growing property tax levy in the nation. House Joint Resolution 1001 would allow voters to impose a permanent freeze on property tax levels for seniors over 65 for as long as they own their homes. House Joint Resolution 1002 will create a state question for voters on whether or not to put a 3-percent annual cap on future property tax increases. Under current law, property tax valuations can increase 5 percent each year.
Though I am no fan of the state income tax, property taxes present a unique problem in that they can continue to rise even as one’s income declines or stays fixed at a current rate. Senior citizens face many difficulties as they navigate health care costs, inflation and rising property taxes on a fixed income. My hope is that this will make their life just a little easier.
Currently, House lawmakers are reviewing Senate bills in committee. I will keep you posted as legislation begins to emerge from this process.
If you have questions or need information, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 557-7349. Rep. Cockroft is on Facebook and on Twitter, votecockroft27. Video footage of the House Chamber is also available at http://okhouse.mediasite.com/mediasite/Catalog/catalogs/default.aspx.