Ballot Measures Would Provide Needed Tax Relief for Oklahoma
On Election Day this November, two important questions will be presented to voters in Oklahoma. State Questions 766 and 758 will appear on the state ballot and give voters a chance to lessen the tax burden on their state. Question 766 will decide whether or not taxes will be assessed on intangible property, while Question 758 will cap annual property tax increases to three percent and will freeze increases for senior citizens. If passed, both questions will provide Sooners with a stronger economy and needed tax relief.
Prior to a 2009 State Supreme Court ruling, some Oklahoma businesses were “centrally assessed” by the State Board of Equalization while others were “locally assessed” by county assessors. Those that received local tax assessments were generally exempt from paying taxes on intangible property, while “centrally assessed” businesses had to pay taxes on intangible property. After that ruling small businesses that were previously "locally assessed," are now "centrally assessed”, and therefore, are no longer exempted from paying taxes on intangible property. Small and large businesses throughout the state are now on the hook to pay taxes on the value of their customer lists, contracts, philanthropy and goodwill, patents, trademarks, and even advertisements. Passing Question 766 would correct this and again exempt these businesses from paying taxes on intangible property.
Additionally, Oklahomans are faced with an annual increase of five percent on the fair cash values on their property. Question 758 would cap property tax increases at three percent instead of the current five percent cap. The measure also freezes the annual increase on senior citizens. The proposal is designed to slow the growth in property tax bills.
If passed, both measures will help increase economic growth and provide Oklahomans with some much needed relief in mid the current economic uncertainty. Prohibiting the taxation of intangible property and capping property tax increases to three percent is necessary to assist Oklahoma in a full economic recovery.