Rogers County Assessor Scott Marsh held a town hall forum Monday evening at the Claremore Vessel Church, the third in a series of forums scheduled for the remainder of March in Claremore.

The forums held in various municipalities are geared towards helping the public understand the role of the assessor's office and respond to questions fielded by citizens.

Marsh gave an overview of statutes the assessor's office must follow, such as:

• the history of the ad valorem (taxation according to value)

• visual inspection

• valuation process and methods

• property owner tax rights

• exemption qualifications and limitations

• how levies affect property taxes

Ad valorem, Marsh said, was codified in the Constitution of Oklahoma in 1907 and relates to taxes based on the value of a transaction or of property. Last year, 4,224 deeds were processed in the assessor's office.

Marsh explained his department services two areas: visual inspections and assessor support.

According to Oklahoma Statutes, every county in the state must conduct a comprehensive visual inspection program of all taxable property once every four years.

Marsh said all properties are appraised yearly and if the value of the property increases, the owner will receive notification in April regarding the change.

In June, an abstract listing properties and values are filed with the Oklahoma Tax Commission and a report is filed with the Rogers County Excise Board in July.

The taxes are calculated using the assessments and millage rates for area schools, fire districts, and more, he said.

“Once that is done, the tax roll is delivered to the (Rogers) County Treasurer's office after October 1,” he said.

If property owners do not agree with the change in assessed value, they have the right to file an informal protest, he added, within 30 days from the postmarked date of the notice.

The assessor will review and make a decision within five days after meeting with the property owner, to which if an agreement is not reached, the property owner can file a formal protest with the Rogers County Board of Equalization, he emphasized. “We are always will to work with everyone to hear his or her concerns,” he said.

There are some exemptions that can be applied to various property owners.

Persons 65 and older with a gross household income of $61,900 or less may qualify for “senior valuation limitation”, also known as a senior freeze, which is not a tax freeze but a taxable value freeze.

More information about this can be obtained from their office. This means the value used to create taxes cannot increase if the limitation is applied.

There is also a homestead exemption and additional homestead exemption that must be filed by today, March 15. It is income-based, he added.

A veteran's exemption on property can also be obtained through the assessor's office.

In addition to those services, the Assessor's office maintains an extensive mapping and Geographical Information System that can be obtained on their website at www.rogerscounty.org/assessor.

The next forum will be held at 6 p.m. on March 20 at Owasso's Community Center on 9602 N. 177th E. Ave.

All of the forums in the various listed municipalities will begin at 6 p.m. The dates and locations are:

• March 23 at the Catoosa Community Center on 105 E. Oak Street

• March 27 at the First Baptist Church located on 500 E. Commercial Street in Inola

• March 30 at the United Methodist Church located at 8936 E. 530 Road in Verdigris.

To learn more information on the topics, please contact the Rogers County Assessor's Office by calling (918) 923-4795 or by emailing Scott Marsh at smarsh@rogerscounty.org.

This Week's Circulars