Tuesday, 06 January 2009
The Tulsa County Assessor is announcing today that starting in early January his office will be sending out a Notice of Change in Assessed Value of Real Estate to each property owner in the former school district of Leonard, located in south Tulsa County. Traditionally, this notice is only sent when a property’s value increases over the previous year. However, since the citizens of Leonard voted to annex their school district to Bixby Public Schools, there will be a significant increase in the amount of their estimated taxes for 2009, and this change will be reflected on the notice.
It is important to understand that the Assessor’s notice is not a tax statement. It is primarily intended to notify the property owners of the valuation of their properties, though it also includes their “estimated taxes.”
“I believe it is a prudent step to notify the property owners in Leonard of their estimated property taxes for 2009 so they can take the steps necessary to ensure that their escrow accounts have sufficient funds to cover the increased taxes,” said Ken Yazel, Tulsa County Assessor. “Otherwise, they will have to come up with additional funds when the tax statements are sent by the Treasurer’s office at the end of next year. We’re trying to give them as much notice as we can so they are prepared.”
Prior to the combination, the Leonard School District had a mill rate of 84.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. The Bixby School District mill rate is 107.40 per $1,000 of assessed value. While the annexation will not change the value the Assessor places on their property, the additional millage will increase the amount of taxes a Leonard homeowner can expect to pay. By way of comparison, in 2008 a home valued at $150,000 would have had property taxes of $1,398 under the Leonard School District rate. In 2009, under the combined Bixby School District mill rate, taxes on a home of the same value are estimated to be $1,772.
“The Assessor is not responsible for setting the amount of millage, or tax rate, applied to an individual’s property,” said Yazel. “My responsibility is to value property across the County in a fair and equal manner, which we do every year. The tax rate applied to that value is set either by legislation or by a vote of the people. In this case, the citizens of Leonard voted to join Bixby Public Schools, which has a significantly higher millage rate than did Leonard Schools. The Leonard voters were aware of this at the time of the vote, and the Assessor’s notice will give them the dollar value associated with the change.”
Taxpayers with questions can contact the Tulsa County Assessor’s office. After receiving their notice a property owner has a right to file an appeal, and the Assessor’s employees can help them through the process. They should understand, however, that the Assessor’s duty is to place a fair value on their property, and an appeal is limited to the valuation of the property and is not related to the millage rate which is applied to that value.
Additional information is available from the Tulsa County Assessor website: www.assessor.tulsacounty.org, or taxpayers can call 918.596.5100.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 January 2009 )