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Local county assessor clears up confusion on property tax increase

[Source KSWO] [Source KSWO]

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Some property owners in Comanche County are voicing their confusion after noticing an increase on their property tax statement.

Per the Comanche County assessor that confusion came from a city tax proposal passed in February.


It would use a portion of property taxes over a 13-year period to cover a 55-million-dollar street improvement project for the city of Lawton.


However, that has not gone into effect, yet.


Comanche county's assessor says tax amounts are driven by market value and overall tax rate in the county each year so that could lead to a possible increase this year.

This year's assessment percentage is about 11 percent. 

"I wasn't shocked,” said Jeanette Runnels, a property taxpayer. “I was just a little surprised that it went up at all."

Runnels is just one property owner that saw an increase after receiving her tax assessment in the mail.

"If it just keeps creeping up every year you just have to think about that,” said Runnels.

She said she's had no improvements done to her nearly seventy-year-old home and no new houses have been built in her neighborhood.

However, she wanted to know why the property tax has increased which is what lead her to Comanche County assessor to file a dispute.

Field appraiser Jim Montgomery encourages property owners like Runnels to come to the office not only to file an appeal but gain knowledge.

"You don't want to be paying a tax on something if you don't feel that's the proper evaluation,” said Montgomery.

An appraiser will help to give a breakdown of the assessment and discuss it with you.

Comanche County assessor Grant Edwards says it's important for property owners to know where their money is going whether it be to the city, local schools or the health department.

Runnels also encourages other property taxpayers.

There's not any way an average person can know what's going on,” said Runnels. “So, this is the place you need to come first."

While no one likes paying taxes, Edwards says it's necessary.

"I don't like paying taxes any more than anybody else,” said Edwards. “I don't like paying state taxes. I don't like paying federal tax. I don't like paying any of it but we have to pay taxes if we are going to have a government."

 

Property owners who have an issue can dispute their tax amount by filing an informal appeal by March 31st.

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