Oklahoma school administrators, board members and parents raised strong objections to proposed cuts in the state’s income tax rates this spring. It would have meant eliminating exemptions and tax credits and Republicans couldn’t agree on where to start cutting.
We anticipate a similar outcry this fall as voters begin to sort out the state questions on their ballot. Voters will face six state questions, including SQ 758 which limits increases in assessments of homes and farmland.
Currently, property tax assessments are capped at five percent. The state question caps the increases at three percent. Many districts, including Norman, have seen increases in their total assessed valuations, which leads to higher bonding capacities.
The cap, put in place years ago, keeps property taxes from rising too quickly in an area where values are on the rise. The state question would not affect seniors and others who meet household income guidelines and are exempt from increases.
Career tech, libraries and county governments as well as common schools will be impacted by the lower cap. We don’t anticipate any lawmakers to come out swinging against dropping the cap from five to three percent. But parents groups may take up the matter and start a statewide campaign.