Filing for Homestead Exemption is free

Friday, December 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The phones at the Better Business Bureau have been ringing off the hook lately. The reason is an official looking letter being mailed to Tulsa County homeowners.

So what should you do if you get one? News On Six reporter Dale Rankin went to find out. When Sue Rodden got an official looking letter in the mail. It talked about saving money on her taxes. 'Your homestead assessment reduction will be a minimum of $1,000, allowing you to subtract at least this amount from your current assessed value.' Sue owns a single bedroom home on Archer and saving money on taxes is something Sue is in favor of. But the letter raised some suspicions. "It was confusing to me and I don't think I'm real stupid."

The letter says that if Sue mails in a check for $29.50 the Property Tax Reduction Company will process the paperwork for her to a her one time only homestead exemption credit and lower the assessed value of her home, that means less taxes, not just this year but every year.

We checked the address on the envelope and it's on 71st Street. We visited the location, and guess what, it isn't an office, its a storefront. And they say they've never heard of the Property Tax Reduction Company. There was also a mailbox number in the address. It’s a business called Box Copy Mail. Storeowner Karen Guel says she hasn't heard of the company either. "Hi I'm calling from Box-Copy-Mail and I'm getting several of these notices in the mail for Property Tax Reduction and I don't have you as a box holder here. I need you to give me a call back." And wasn’t the only one getting an earful. The phone has been ringing over at the Better Business Bureau as well.

The next stop was the Tulsa County Assessor's office. Rankin, "What would you say to someone who got one of these letters?" County Assessor Jack Gordon, "Throw it away." Gordon says the forms to file for a homestead exemption are available on the Internet. Or you can go down to his office and fill out the paperwork there. It takes about 10 minutes. Either way it’s free. To get a free copy of the form to file for a homestead exemption go to the Tulsa County Assessor's website.