The Tuesday primary election features several critical races for State and County, but none that will impact your taxes more than the race for County Assessor. The current assessor has failed competence in his service and in training those in his office.
Byron Burke’s campaign for Tulsa County Assessor highlights that all Tulsa County property tax is too high. Further the Oklahoma Constitution requires “Taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects.”
Burke said, “Sounds simple, but that standard is not being met. The failure of the Tulsa County Assessor, assessors statewide, and the Oklahoma Tax Commission to meet a standard required by law is one of the reasons I am running as a Republican candidate for Tulsa County Assessor. Oklahoma’s property tax system is broken, and I intend to fix it.”
Burke said, “In 1977 I opened a property tax consulting practice to provide property tax services. With luck and hard work, the company started growing with the addition of Safeway Stores, Hobby Lobby and Love’s Country Stores as long-term clients. As my clients grew the company grew from a one-person company to a nationwide firm with offices in Tulsa and Houston. Burke and Associates represented a wide range of clients handling all areas of real estate and business personal property taxation. Clients such as Ross Dress For Less, Kroger Grocery Stores, Wal-Mart and Federal Express became long term working relationships.
Burke sold his company in 2012 to Ryan, an international accounting firm, then continued to work with them for five years as Director of the company’s Tulsa office.
“Working in all fifty states and Canada gave me the opportunity to once again see firsthand the differences in the way property taxes are administered in hundreds of taxing jurisdictions across the country. There are much better systems to raise revenue to fund local governmental operations than are practiced in Oklahoma,” Burke added.
“Currently hundreds of millions of dollars of value on commercial properties has not been discovered by county assessors because the transactions involving these properties has been accomplished without the filing of a deed at the County Clerk’s office. The transfers of ownership have been accomplished through the transfer of a limited liability company which does not require a deed. This fact alone has resulted in tax rates staying artificially high and shifting more of the tax burden to homeowners,” Burke said.
Burke said, “Values need to be equalized within the same class of subjects and taxpayers need to take control of the tax rates.”