Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Legislators file initiative petition for state question on freezing property tax for seniors

Former State Rep. David Dank would have been all on board with this proposal, which was a longterm goal of his when he passed away in 2015.

Legislators File Petition to Add Senior Homestead Fair Cash Value Freeze State Question to Ballot

OKLAHOMA CITY – A trio of state representatives recently filed an initiative petition to add an amendment to the state Constitution that would freeze the homestead fair cash value for individuals aged 65 and older.

If enough signatures are gained (177,958 are needed), State Question 822 could be on the Nov. 8 ballot this year. The initiative petition was filed June 24 by Reps. Max Wolfley, R-Oklahoma City; Eric Roberts, R-Oklahoma City; and Robert Manger, R-Oklahoma City. A challenge period ended July 15.

The representatives first filed legislation requesting the state question this year. HJR 1047 passed the House on a vote of 83-13 in March. It was not picked up in the State Senate.

"This would not do away with the ad valorem tax of a person's homestead property, it would just keep it from going up once the property owner has reached the age of 65. This freeze would occur  regardless of an individual's income," the lawmakers said. "Property taxes tend to go up each year no matter what, while retirees struggle to keep up with rising inflation costs. This state question would simply ask state voters if they would like to allow property tax values to freeze for seniors or if they prefer that they continue to pay potential property tax increases each year."

For heads of household age 65 and older, the initiative would freeze the fair cash value of a homestead at the fair cash value assessment that is assessed on the property in the first year that the head of household turns 65. Any head of household who is 65 years of age or older before January 1, 2024, the fair cash value on the property would be limited to the fair cash value placed on the property on January 1, 2024. Currently, fair cash value limits or freezes require the head of household to meet an income limit to qualify. This measure would remove the income limits to qualify for the fair cash value limit.

Proponents suggested the following ballot title:

"This measure amends the Oklahoma Constitution. It amends Section 8C of Article 10. This section limits the fair cash value of a homestead for individual head of households who are sixty-five (65) years of age or older to not exceed the fair cash value placed upon the property during the first year in which the individual head of household becomes sixty-five (65) years of age or older or if the individual was 65 before January 1, 2024, and their income was above the income limits listed then the fair cash value shall not exceed the fair cash value placed upon the property on January 1, 2024. Currently, this section only applies if the individual head of household meets the age requirement and an income limit determined by United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to be the estimated median income for the preceding year if the county or metropolitan statistical area which includes such county. This measure eliminates the required income limit. If this measure passes, this section will apply for individual head of households sixty-five (65) years of age or older."

A yes vote means the voter wishes the proposal to be approved. A no vote indicates the voter is against the proposal.

1 comment:

  1. I've read four articles about this petition, the number of signaturesrequired to get it on the ballot and the short time available to garner the required signatures.

    And not one damn word about how to go about getting one's signature on it. No link. No location to find a copy to sign, nothing.

    Seems to me that info might be useful, huh?

    Ernie Cash
    Big Cabin


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