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Property tax revenue does not fund roads

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Since tax season is upon us and annual ad valorem statements have been mailed to property owners, it seems important to mention again that property taxes do not fund roads. This is a widespread misconception and one we repeatedly try to clarify. The huge majority of property
tax funds public education. This is indicated on the tax statement you receive from the county treasurer’s office. On your tax statement, the portion of property tax which the county receives fall under the classification of “County General” and “County Health.” County General provides for the courthouse, supplies for the jail and salaries for elected officials. County Health funds the Health Department. “County Wide 4-Mil” is funding for schools, as are all remaining categories related to education.

Mark SharptonThe amount you pay in property tax is determined not only by the fair market value assessment of your property, but by bond issues which make your taxes go up or down, depending on when they are approved or paid off. Many people are not aware of when bond elections are held and therefore are surprised to find an increase in their property tax for no apparent reason. For instance, in Edmond, voters approved 55 consecutive school bonds and yet in one election, in 2009, out of
9,394 voters, only 81 ballots were cast.

Fuel tax, gross production tax and motor vehicle collections fund roads. The Oklahoma Tax Commission collects these taxes and distributes the money to the county each month. In Logan County, where collectively the commissioners have 1200 miles to maintain, we received $214.00 per mile per month for road maintenance during last fiscal year. That amount per mile would purchase five tons of asphalt for patching potholes, or 23 tons of rock, which equates to one
truckload. None of it was paid for with property tax. Were it not for special transportation funding programs, major road and bridge improvements would be impossible. The next time you hear someone say that property tax is used for roads, I hope you will help to enlighten them.

For more information about District 1 road and bridge improvements, visit the website at www.commissiondistrict1.com.

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