By JOY HAMPTON
It’s that time again. Time to save on property taxes.
Rogers County Assessor Melissa Anderson said her office will meet with taxpayers to file for the 2008 tax year savings at several area locations including Catoosa City Hall, Stimson Real Estate in Foyil, Oologah City Hall, Talala Grocery, Inola City Hall and Chelsea Gas Authority.
Proof of 2007 income is required, including social security and medicare.
Those who have recently purchased property or have never filed for a Homestead Exemption may do so before March 15. According to the assessor’s office, a Homestead Exemption will save $80-$100 a year on taxes.
Each April, new homeowners get a letter Anderson calls a “change of value notice.”
Those who have recently purchased a home may be surprised to find they are paying more than the previous owners. According to Anderson, most taxpayer protests are a result of not understanding why taxes increase when a sale occurs.
A sample property purchase in 2006 in Inola demonstrates the increase that can occur on property taxes following a sale.
The previous owner had paid a little over $50 in ad valorem taxes each year. This figure did not reflect future taxes on the home, however.
WHY PROPERTY TAXES INCREASE AFTER SALE
Property taxes are capped, meaning that they can only be raised up to 5-percent each year.
This increase is not automatic. Assessment is based on “fair market value” and the 5-percent increase will be added every year until taxes match the rising value of real estate. Property that decreases or stays the same will not be subject to the increase.
When property has been in the possession of the same owner over a period of time, the tax cap may prevent tax increases from matching the rising value of the real estate. When a sale occurs, the cap comes off and the Assessor must bring the property to full market value.
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By JOY HAMPTON
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