During assessment time several exemptions available

It's that time of the year when you should make aware any improvements or changes to your property, and make sure you take advantage of any exemptions you are entitled to.

From now until March 15 is assessment time, according to Sequoyah County Assessor Kelly Miller.

In connection with assessment time, Miller said the assessor's office has mailed out Personal Property Renditions to all owners who have rendered Mobile Homes as personal property (Not on their own land) and Agriculture Equipment and Businesses.

All personal property assets used in agriculture or business must be listed with the county assessor withing the assessment time period to avoid a penalty, Miller said.

“We are required by statute to mail these out to all our current owners in an effort to maintain and update our assessment records for the current tax year (2021),” Miller said. “If you received one of these forms and you still own the described listed on the form, then all you need to do is sign it, date it and give us a phone number so that we may reach you if necessary and mail it or email it to our office.”

Miller said the forms look complicated but they are very simple. She said if you no longer own the mobile home or tractor then you can call the office for further instructions as the assessor will need to know who is in ownership for this year, or you can write the new owner information on the document along with your phone number and mail it back to the assessor's office as soon as possible.

“Now, in accordance with statute 68 O.S. Sec 2836C, if these forms are not returned to the assessor's office by March 15 we must apply a mandatory 10 percent penalty to your assessment value. If they are not returned by April 15, then a 20 percent penalty must be applied,” Miller said.

Miller said this is also the time of year property owners need to report any improvements, new construction or any damaged, destroyed or removed property. “Most importantly, this is the time of year that we want to make sure you have every exemption possible under the law, so please call at 918-775-2062 with any questions that you might have. Myself or my staff would be happy to assist you in any way,” she said.

Miller said there are a number of exemptions available to property owners who qualify including homestead exemption, double homestead exemption, what is called a senior valuation freeze and an exemption for 100 percent disabled veterans.

To qualify for a homestead exemption, you must be the homeowner residing on the property on Jan. 1, with the deed executed on or before Jan. 1 and filed in the clerks office on or before Feb. 1. If you have been granted a homestead exemption and continue to occupy the homestead property, you are not required to re-apply for homestead exemption.

Miller said a double homestead exemption is incomebased, and that household income from all sources cannot exceed $20,000 and you must show proof of income. You must apply every year for the double homestead exemption until you reach the age 65 when it becomes permanent.

To qualify for the senior valuation freeze, you must be 65 or older as of Jan. 1, 2021 and must be the owner of and occupy the homestead property. Qualification income levels are different for each county and are subject to change each year, but Miller said the income level for Sequoyah County is $54,200. She said that amount is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

If approved, the freeze will take affect for the taxable year in which the application is made and approved. No annual application is required.

The property value will be frozen at the taxable value after all increases and adjustments have been made the year application is made, not the previous years taxable value. Miller said that amount could be 3 percent.

Miller said in order for a veteran to qualify for the veteran's exemption, the veteran must be 100 percent disabled and have a certified copy of of the service-related injury. The disability must be service-related.

All of these exemptions must be applied for during the assessment period running from Jan. 1 to March 15, Miller said.

Sequoyah County Times

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