MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 7, 2012

Schools fear loss of millions in property taxes


Associated Press

— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma public school officials say districts in the state face the loss of millions of dollars following the approval of two measures that would reduce property taxes.

One measure reduces the maximum increase on annual property valuations to 3 percent from 5 percent, and the other exempts intangible property — such as copyrights — from property taxes.

Oklahoma State School Boards Association Director Jeff Mills said Wednesday that the two measures would mean about $55 million less each year for common education and CareerTech schools.

Mills says school districts will have no choice but to cut programs and reduce staff.

Supporters say limiting property-value increases will benefit the elderly and those on fixed incomes and that exempting intangible property will attract businesses to the state.