Comanche County, 34 other county assessor offices fail audit - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Comanche County, 34 other county assessor offices fail 2013 audit

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LAWTON, Okla._ The Oklahoman Tax Commission failed nearly fifty percent of the state's county assessors offices in their 2013 audit.

Comanche county was one of just two counties that failed this year but passed last year. A total of 35 counties failed this year all together.   

Richard Strickland, Comanche County assessor, got the results of this year's audit last week and says he was shocked.  

"They never said one word to me one way or another," says Strickland. "They haven't suggested ways of improving … since we passed prior we haven't really changed anything."

He says the concerns the tax commission raised this year have little to no validation, including not having accredited staff members to use the appraisal software is unfounded.

"The staff is full accredited, so I don't even know why that's one is on there."

Another controversial item is the commission's requirement that all unsold property be adjusted to fair cash value, not what the property might end up selling for in the given market. That's the number Strickland determines and uses.

"The data value is based upon the figures out of California that's adjusted locally and it's just as a whole it's not as accurate as what you do, and the buyers and sellers do in this market," says Strickland.

The county's software for appraising properties is yet another area of contention. Strickland is not sure how numbers from his office add up on the state's software when they perform the audit. 

"It has to be the way (they've changed) standards," he says.

A different scoring rubric, in other words, on how the state graded assessor's offices this time around, but he says he was told not take the failing score too harshly, but to continue improving.

"They basically said don't be worried about it and it was due to the changes in the system and some of us being on the state system and some of us being here and there (and) that what they were worried about that there was a movement toward doing it better."

Strickland says the concerns raised by the commission are "assumptions" about his office and says he doesn't have the staff to make significant strides in many of the problem areas the commission highlighted in their report.   

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