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Limiting property valuation hikes bill approved in state House committee

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Annual increases in property valuations would drop from 5 percent to 1 percent under legislation narrowly approved by a state House committee.

The measure by Representative Odilia Dank calls for a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment to limit fair cash value annual increases to limit growth revenue to local governments.

The measure contains a provision to permit county voters to increase the fair cash value of locally assessed real property to no more than 5 percent.

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted 5-to-4 to send the bill to the state House after Jim Kelley, Pittsburg County assessor, said the 1 percent growth rate "will not stay up with inflation in most cases."

A group of lawmakers and local tax assessors have proposed a constitutional amendment to prevent property tax valuations from rising more than 3 percent a year.

Supporters said the plan would slow the rate of increase in Oklahomans' annual property tax bills but would still provide local governments with enough revenue to pay for education and other public needs.
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