Property taxes help fund public education

By Katrina Goforth -

The Jackson County Treasurer’s office reported over $8 million in property taxes collected as of Dec. 31. That number includes the first half of property taxes owed and property taxes for individuals totaling $25 or less, which must be paid in full by the end of the billing year. The total amount collected in 2017 was $8,325,282, and $8,062,099 of it was collected in December, according to records from the County Treasurer’s Office.

According to Jackson County Assessor Lisa Roberson, property taxes collected at the end of each year are distributed to public services, many of which rely on government funds to assist their operation.

Every dollar collected by the assessor’s office is taken and divvied up. Forty-eight percent goes to general education; 14 percent to technology education; 14 percent to the county government, 7 percent to building project funds for education; 5 percent to public libraries; 4 percent to ambulance services; 3 percent to the county health department, and another 5 percent goes to county four-mill, a levy apportioned to all schools districts in the county on the basis of average daily attendance, according to mil percentage data from the assessor’s office.

Jackson County allocates 74 cents of every dollar collected from property tax to education, which amounts to about $6.1 million.

USA Today ranked Oklahoma 29th highest in the U.S. for property tax rates in 2016, the most current data year. On average, property owners in Oklahoma paid $1,272 with the average home valued at $142,683. In 2016, Oklahoma collected approximately $1.5 million in property taxes.

By Katrina Goforth

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