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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

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For Immediate Release: March 4, 2009

Sen. Jim Reynolds
Sen. Jim Reynolds

Senate Supports Property Tax Cap Vote

The State Senate has approved a measure to cut the growth of annual property tax increases. Senate Joint Resolution 5, by Sen. Jim Reynolds, was passed on Wednesday. The legislation would let Oklahomans vote to lower the current property tax cap of five percent to three percent.

“Thousands of Oklahoma citizens are begging for relief,” said Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City. “This tax is especially difficult for many low-income and elderly people on fixed incomes.”

In 1996, Oklahoma voters approved a five percent cap on property value assessments. While the intention was to keep annual property tax increases under that cap, County Assessors have instead raised property taxes the maximum five percent each year.

“It’s gotten out of control. Since the mid-eighties, the average U.S. inflation rate has been 2.7 percent, but with the current five percent cap, people in many counties have seen their property taxes go up each year at nearly twice the rate of inflation, even when values have remained flat or even dropped,” Reynolds said.

Senate President Pro Tempore praised Reynolds and members of the Senate who supported SJR 5.

“If nothing is done, property taxes will continue to double about every 14 years,” Coffee said. “Sixteen other states have stronger safeguards for homeowners than Oklahoma. We need to act this year to give our citizens some relief.”

Reynolds added SJR 5 would not take away any money from schools or other county services.

“This simply limits the amount County Assessors can increase property taxes,” Reynolds said. “If approved by the people, this will promote and encourage home ownership and increase the quality of life in Oklahoma.”

The measure now moves to the House of Representatives.

For more information contact:
Sen. Reynold's Office: 405-521-5522

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