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View Diary: Free-Market Conservatism Kills-Oklahoma Buildings Don't Have Safe Rooms Because "Regulation Rankles" (220 comments)

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  •  Low property taxes build few shelters (6+ / 0-)

    Last November, Oklahoma voters pass lower property tax limit in State Question 758.

    Oklahoma voters have approved a constitutional amendment that limits the yearly increase in some property taxes to 3 percent.

    [...]

    Opponents argued the limit would primarily benefit the wealthy and would result in a loss of revenue for schools, libraries, local governments, the career-tech system and state-funded health services.

    Moore is in Cleveland county, but right north of it is which brags of low property taxes after explaining that it pays for schools. Oklahoma County Assessor’s homepage:
    WHERE DOES MY PROPERTY TAX MONEY GO?

    Property taxes are an important source of revenue for local schools, vocational-technical education, libraries, city and county government. As in most states in the United States, property taxes are the backbone of funding of local government and schools. Oklahoma’s property tax with some changes has fulfilled this basic function since statehood.

    Generally, local schools receive the largest share of the property tax. Schools are followed by city bond issues, county government, vocational-technical schools, libraries, and city-county health department. Except for those provided for in the Oklahoma Constitution, millage levies are controlled by the voters.

    But then, Oklahoma County site  boasts of its low property taxes.
    Oklahoma Ranks 47th lowest in property taxes...............
    only Mississippi, Alaska, & Alabama are lower.

    [...]

    In America, voting with one's feet remains a viable form of tax protest.

    [...]

    CNN/Money ranks Oklahoma 5th nationally for best local property taxes!

    Another site, A better life in OKC, explains of the state's low tax burden:
    Oklahoma is known for being friendly, but not when it comes to high taxes. The state ranks squarely in the bottom third of the U.S. for taxes as a percentage of income.

    [...]

    Property Tax: Oklahoma ranks 47-lowest in property taxes, according to MSN Money. Rates vary by county and area of county, in Oklahoma County assessment ratios vary from 11% for real property to 13.75% for personal property. Homestead exemptions allow a $1,000 deduction from the assessed value for primary residences.

    So, when I see articles like: Moore officials: Funds for “safe rooms” were held up by red tape
    Officials in Moore, the Oklahoma City suburb devastated by a tornado Monday, complained earlier this year that federal grant funds that were intended to build “safe rooms” in the tornado-struck region were delayed.

    [...]

    Officials in the Oklahoma City suburb ravaged by deadly tornadoes Monday complained in February that $2 million in federal grants to pay for “safe rooms” in 800 homes had been delayed by a shortage of funding and FEMA requirements that were a “constantly moving target.”

    I wonder why the rest of the nation is expected to pay for these shelters when it seems like Oklahomans could pay for them themselves without involving the federal government. Oklahomans want to keep their property taxes low and let the rest of the nation pick up the costs of keeping them safe.

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