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October 13, 2012

Voters to decide state questions Nov. 6

ROGERS COUNTY —  

Oklahomans will be getting a few extra items on the Nov. 6 ballot, as six state questions will be decided. 
Of the six, two deal with taxes, two are administrative in nature and one addresses affirmative action.
State Questions 758, 759, 762, 764, 765 and 766 include a bit of length and voters should come prepared, according to Julie Dermody, Rogers County Election Board Secretary.
SQ 758 amends the state constitution and deals with ad valorem or property tax. Property tax is based on several factors including the fair cash value of a property. 
This measure would change the limit on fair cash value increases. 
“Basically the issue will not help the tax payer a lot; it is only for properties that are listed as homestead or agriculture,” said Rogers County Assessor Scott Marsh.
It will only save the property owner only $12 to $15 a year, it will however impact the future growth for entities such as area schools systems.
It could cause sinking funds to increase, which will wash out any savings, according to Marsh.
When the schools do not receive enough revenue with property taxes then the only option is to pass bond issues which could drive up mileage rates, Marsh added.
Currently the increase limit of the increase is five percent.
SQ 766 also deals with taxes; it exempts some personal property from being included in property taxation.
The personal property issue could impact Rogers County depending on the state level assessments of entities like AEP or other businesses, according to Marsh.
However, those that favor the measure point out the impact it would have on small business owners.
Virtually every Oklahoma family or business owns intangible property, often without even realizing it. Exempting intangible property will permanently protect families and small businesses from new taxes on items like pensions, retirement benefits, professional licenses (such as teaching certificates and nursing licenses), apartment leases, insurance policies and employment contracts. 

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