Dank’s property tax proposals face Wednesday subcommittee vote
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Published: 21-Feb-2011
The House Revenue and Taxation Subcommittee will consider on Wednesday (February 23) two bills that would place annual caps on annual property tax increases. The measures, House Joint Resolutions 1001 and 1002, are the work of state Rep. David Dank, an Oklahoma City Republican.
 
H.J.R. 1001 would send to the voters a 2 percent annual cap on future property tax increases. H.J.R. 1002 would put in place a 2 percent annual increase in property lax levies for taxpayers over the age of 65, so long as they own their homes.
 
In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK, Rep. Dank said, “Oklahoma is out front on a number of vital reforms this year, but if we fail to address the issue of ad valorem tax reform, we will be sending a message that we are just not serious about restraining the growth of government.’
 
Dank asserts,  “If ever there was a bipartisan issue, this is it. Despite what some opponents may claim, this is not a tax cut. It would not reduce revenue for schools or counties by a single penny. It is merely tax restraint.”
 
The property tax issue has animated Rep. Dank’s service since he began his service at the Capitol, and was a main emphasis in his successful run for a third term in the Legislature.
 
In his statement on Monday, Dank pointed to a recent Tax Foundation study, concluding it documented that the Sooner State has the nation’s eighth-fasting growing property tax levy.
 
Dank is leading a study of the Oklahoma system in his capacity as chairman of the Revenue and Taxation Subcommittee. He  asserted, “The current 5 percent allowable annual increase in ad valorem taxes is the only automatic tax increase on the books. “Imagine the uproar if income or sales taxes went up 5 percent every year.”
 
“The hardest hit are seniors, who have not seen a cost of living increase in Social Security or most pensions in two years. That annual extra 5 percent property tax increase, along with increases in expenses like gasoline, utilities, Medicare premium increases, prescription drugs, insurance premiums and groceries are literally driving many of them from their homes into nursing homes, which wind up costing the taxpayers much more.”
 
Dank and other advocates point to a similar 2 percent cap adopted by Republican Governor Chris Christie and legislative Democrats in New Jersey.
 
While expressing support for other tax reforms coming from the Republican leadership and Gov. Mary Fallin, Dank stressed the property tax issues are central to the state’s advancement, in his view:
 
“There is no more important reform on our agenda this session. I am hopeful that these two vital reforms will be advanced to the floor this week.”
 
The two measures will become before the Revenue and Taxation Subcommittee during Wednesday’s meeting in Room 412C of the Oklahoma Capitol. The session is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

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