Property tax rates in Oklahoma differ depending on several factors, including the county, school district, home value and more, so it's not always easy to figure your property taxes. Here is a brief how-to that will explain some important property tax terms as well as help you figure the property tax rates for a home in Oklahoma.
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- Where Do Property Taxes Go? - Before calculating your Oklahoma property tax, a very common question is in reference to what is actually funded by property taxes. In Oklahoma, as in most states, property taxes are the primary funding ingredient for local governments and schools. Here is the breakdown by percentage:
- Schools - 59.22
- Tech Centers & Colleges - 12.76
- Cities & Towns - 11.43
- County - 9.49
- City/County Library - 4.74
- City/County Health - 2.36
- Understand Taxable Market Value - The next step in figuring your Oklahoma property tax is to understand the relevant terms, for example, "taxable market value." The County Assessor for the county in which the property is located sets a taxable market value, and there is a Board of Equalization that can settle any disputes in this regard. Values are assigned every 4 years and are determined by factors that include size, use, construction type, age, location and current sales market. Also, get more information on appealing an assessed market value.
- Other Important Terms - Other important terms relative to the calculation of property tax in Oklahoma include:
- Tax Rate (per $1000 Value): Based on rules established in the state Constitution, property tax rates differ in every area of the state, even significantly within one county.
- Homestead Exemption: If the property is your permanent residence, you can receive a homestead exemption, or what is essentially a reduction in the assessed valuation for tax purposes. The standard exemption is $1000, but low-income individuals can receive an exemption of $2000 (See Tip 2 below).
- Gather Your Information - Now that you understand the terminology, it's time to gather the necessary information for calculating your property tax. If you don't already have it from your tax papers, the taxable property value is available through your County Assessor. For Oklahoma County, you obtain your property's value through an online search.
Tax rates are also available through the County Assessor's office. Oklahoma County has a chart online, but if you don't know your rate and simply want an estimate, use 100 below.
- Calculate Your Tax - The formula for calculating your property tax is as follows:
Taxable Market Value x Assessment % (11% for land and buildings or 13.75% for personal property such as business inventory or manufactured homes) = Assessed Value
Assessed Value - Exempt Value = Net Assessed Value
Net Assessed Value x Tax Rate per $1000 Value = Annual Tax Amount
- See an Example - To help illustrate the above formula, here's an example for a home valued at $150,000 in the Oklahoma City Public School district:
$150,000 x 11% = 16,500
16,500 - 1000 = 15,500
15,500 x 106.08 = 1644.24
- Make Sure You Pay On Time - In most cases, all property taxes must be paid by December 31st. Paying by the deadline will allow you to deduct property taxes on your federal income tax return, but Oklahoma does allow split payments of half by December 31st and the other half by April 1st. Delinquent property taxes are assessed penalties and interest charges as high as 18 percent, depending on how long the tax remains unpaid. Interest is charged at the rate of 1.5 percent per month, and there is no maximum amount of interest. In addition, failure to pay property tax could result in the loss of the property.
- Contact your County Assessor's office for information on homestead exemption application. As long as your place of residence does not change, you do not have to apply for a homestead exemption each year after the first.
- In order to qualify for an additional $1000 homestead exemption, you must have a gross household income below $20,000 and meet basic homestead exemption requirements. To apply, contact your County Assessor's office for Form 994.
- If your gross household income is $12,000 or less and you are at least 65 years of age OR totally disabled, you may be eligible for a property tax refund. Application is made on Form 538-H which can be downloaded from the Oklahoma Tax Commission. A refund may not exceed $200.00
- An exemption in the full amount of the home value is available for individuals that are (1)Veterans honorably discharged from a branch of the Armed Forces or the Oklahoma National Guard, (2) Oklahoma residents and (3) have a 100% permanent disability sustained through military action or accident, or result from a disease contracted while in active service. The veteran would have to meet all other homestead requirements, and the disability would have
to be certified by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The exemption is also available to surviving spouses of veterans.
- For more information or to inquire about any of the above, contact your County Assessor's Office. A directory by county is available online from the Oklahoma Tax Commission.