Tulsa’s high property taxes
Tulsa County has the highest property taxes in the state.
That’s a fact.
Figures from the Tulsa County Assessor’s office prove that Tulsa County, with weighted average of 126.84 mills, is the highest in the state. Oklahoma County is at 114.76.
So it’s about 10 percent less to pay property taxes in Oklahoma City than Tulsa.
In fact, only seven out of Oklahoma’s 77 counties have an average weighted rate above 100 mills. Twenty-seven counties are below 70 mills and 33 additional counties fall below the 80-mill level.
Who is to blame for such high property taxation?
The ultimate blame is for those Tulsans who continue to vote in every new tax. You can also blame those who register and don’t vote and there are a bunch of those people.
Blame school and city administrators who can’t wait to increase their revenue streams. They borrow money and spend it like it is running out of style.
And blame the local chambers of commerce. They think progress is tied to higher taxation. They pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into media campaigns to convince school patrons that their neighborhood elementary will evaporate if they don’t raise their own property taxes.
Give some blame to the “mainstream media.” They advocate for tax votes with stories that show how miserable life will be without this new tax. The media never will mention how much the chamber is spending on advertising and how those revenue have a great impact on the “news.” Those who vote no never get the same level of coverage as the chamber crowd.
How do you spur economic development? Not with higher taxes. How do you attract new business? Not with the highest property taxes in the state.
Now Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the city councilors want to add to that burden with a $919,000,000.00 tax hike in November.
Maybe the only solution is to move to Beaver County in the Panhandle. Its millage rate is 59.37 – less than half the property tax rate as Tulsa County.