Oklahoma legislators plan interim studies this week of the impact of ad valorem tax protests on public schools and county services.
The hearings will be held by the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Reps. Carl Newton R-Cherokee; Dick Lowe, R-Amber; Kenton Patzkowsky, R-Balko; and John Pfeiffer, R-Orlando,.
The combined Interim Studies 21-009 and 21-129 will explore why and how Oklahoma schools are suffering due to not receiving their ad valorem tax proceeds from companies within the oil, gas, and wind sectors.
The studies are scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon and will resume at 1:30 on Wednesday, Sept. 22, in Room 450 at the state Capitol, 2300 N Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City.
“Lawmakers and the public need a better understanding of this issue,” Newton said. “Bringing stakeholders together from all sides will help us decide if legislation is in order.”
“This is a growing funding issue that is crippling some of our public schools and counties,” Lowe said. “Our Legislature must soon find a solution.”
“We’re here to open eyes to the fact there is a real problem going on within our system,” Patzkowsky said. “Now that we’ve started this dialogue, it’s time to fix this problem.”
“We want Oklahoma students to have every resource available to them when it comes to their education,” Pfeiffer said. “Making sure taxpayer dollars reach their intended target in a fair and timely way is of paramount importance.”
During the study, valuation standards and protest procedures will be discussed and reviewed. The cost of the protests to schools, counties and the state will be detailed.
Presenters include representatives from K-12 Public Schools, the state’s Career Tech system, the wind, oil and gas industries, the state auditor’s office, county assessors, and the private third-party contractor used by the largest number of counties in the state for assessments.
The study can be livestreamed here by searching for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The study also will be recorded and archived by searching the date of the study and the committee.
Source: House press release