Tax Assessor Mistake Leads To Possible Jenks Schools Funding Issue

Monday, May 21st 2018, 6:47 pm
By: News On 6

Jenks schools may be missing out on close to $100,000 after a mistake by the Tulsa County tax assessor.

The tax assessor's office said they're glad the issue was brought to their attention and said this isn't something that happens often.

The Tulsa County tax assessor said they neglected to re-appraise a shopping center at 91st and Yale after it was sold in 2015.

After that sale, the property value increased by nearly $6 million but the assessor in charge of that property never made the adjustment to collect the additional tax.

According to the Ad Valorem property tax guidelines, 57.6 percent of our property taxes go toward k-12.

That means the Jenks school district missed out on valuable funding.

"Well I was shocked at first because of course, it was something we were not aware of," said Jenks Public Schools CFO Cody Way. 

The mistake comes at a time when education funding is a critical issue all across the state.

"We're trying to find every dollar we can to put into our classrooms because we're growing so fast in enrollment," Way said. "It'll cost Jenks probably for a while about 50 thousand dollars a year in collections, so that's a lot of money.” 

Patrick Milton with the tax assessor’s office said the assessor who was in charge of the property resigned around the same time as the sale and believes the issue fell through the cracks but said he doesn't know how.

Milton said the office is going over their procedure for reviewing property sales and will make changes if needed so this doesn't happen again.

Now school administrators wonder what else may have been missed.

"I know there is always human error but it's something that large that went unnoticed is concerning to me," Way said. 

The error was discovered during an investigation by the Tulsa World newspaper.