The assessment process plays an important role in local government. Equitable assessments assure property owners that they are asked to pay only their fair share of the cost of operating libraries, schools, police protection and other necessary services.
Oklahoma statutes require the County Assessor's office to maintain all real estate values and to physically inspect each parcel at least once every four years. Staff appraisers visit the properties and note any changes in the physical attributes. This information is stored by the assessor, updated and maintained for current and future use in the assessment process.
Purpose of Appraisals
The purpose of the appraisals generated by the Ottawa County Assessor's office is to estimate the market value for ad valorem tax purposes only. The effective date of the appraisals is January 1 of each year.
Definition of Market Value, or Fair Cash Value
In Ottawa County, 'Fair Cash Value' means the value or price at which a willing buyer would purchase property and a willing seller would sell property if both parties are knowledgeable about the property and its uses and if neither party is under any undue pressure to buy or sell and for real property shall mean the value for the highest and best use for which such property was actually used, or was previously classified for use, during the calender year next preceeding the applicable January 1 assessment date.
Notice of Valuation
If the county assessor increases the valuation of any property over the assessment from the preceding year, notification in writing will be sent to the person in whose name any such property is listed.
Appealing the Market Value
If the taxpayer should disagree with the action of the assessor, they must file a written appeal within twenty (20) calendars days from the date the notice is mailed. The complaint must be made upon a form prescribed by The Oklahoma Tax Commission which is available at the County Assessor's office. OTC #974 (sample form) This complaint should specify the reasons for the disagreement as well as the taxpayers opinion of market value.
The Assessor's staff will conduct an informal hearing considering all evidence presented. Final action, concerning the informal appeal, will be taken within five (5) working days of the informal hearing. Notice of this action will be mailed to taxpayer.
Within ten (10) working days of the date this notice is mailed or delivered, the taxpayer may file an appeal with the county board of equalization.
Property owners who appeal are encouraged to perform careful research and submit copies of evidence during each step of the appeal process.