The assessment process plays an important role in
local government. Equitable assessments assure property owners that they
are asked to pay only their fair share of the cost of operating libraries,
schools, police protection and other necessary services.
statutes require the County Assessor’s office to maintain all real estate
values and to physically inspect each parcel at least once every four
years. Staff appraisers visit the properties and note any changes in the
physical attributes. This information is stored by the assessor, updated
and maintained for current and future use in the assessment
purpose of the appraisals generated by the Carter County Assessor’s
office is to estimate the market value for ad valorem tax purposes only.
The effective date of the appraisals is January 1 of each
Definition of Market Value
"Market Value" is defined as the probable
sale price of a property in terms of money in a competitive and open
market, assuming that the buyer and seller are acting prudently and
knowledgeably, allowing sufficient time for the sale, and assuming that
the transaction is not affected by undue
Analysis of Market Values
Once market values have been calculated based on
information gathered by the property appraisers, the values are analyzed
to determine how accurate and equitable they are. The property appraiser
does not create market value. The buying and selling of property by the
general public establishes the value of property in the real estate
A comparison of
assessments to sales prices is performed to determine ratios, which are
then used to measure the levels and uniformity of assessments. Sales ratio
studies by neighborhood, type of property and other characteristics are
performed on a regular basis to assure uniformity of
Notice of Valuation
If the county assessor increases the
valuation of any property over the assessment from the preceding year,
notification in writing will be sent to the person in whose name any such
property is listed.
Appealing the Market Value
If the taxpayer
should disagree with the action of the assessor, they must file a
written appeal within twenty (30) calendars days from the date
the notice is mailed. The complaint must be made upon a form prescribed
by The Oklahoma Tax Commission which is available at the County
Assessor’s office. OTC #974 (sample form) This complaint should
specify the reasons for the disagreement as well as the taxpayers
opinion of market value.
staff will conduct an informal hearing considering all evidence
presented. Final action, concerning the informal appeal, will be
taken within five (5) working days of the informal hearing. Notice
of this action will be mailed to taxpayer.
Within ten (10)
working days of the date this notice is mailed or delivered, the
taxpayer may file an appeal with the county
board of equalization.
Property owners who
appeal are encouraged to perform careful research and submit copies of
evidence during each step of the appeal process.
I just purchased my property, why have you
valued it for more than I paid for it?
There are numerous types of sales occurring
throughout the county. Some of which are less than market as well as some
more than market. Market value must be viewed as a willing buyer and
willing seller without any undue pressure to buy or sell. For example if
an individual is transferred from the county or inherits property, they
may choose to sell below the market to rid themselves of the burden of
trying to maintain two households. On the other hand one might choose to
purchase a home above the indicated market value for reasons such as
location to ones employment, relatives, schools and fondness of the
overall structure and layout of the property. These, along with other
sales that have occurred in the neighborhood, must be considered. We
determine what the majority of similar properties are selling for, in that
neighborhood, and apply those findings in terms of market
How can my
property be worth more if I haven’t done anything to
Property values are based on the activity in the marketplace.
If homes, similar to yours, are commanding a higher price one would have
to assume yours would be worth similar
Why should I be
penalized for somebody else paying a high price for a home in my
It isn’t a penalty. Although it does occur, few people will pay
more for something than it is worth. Therefore if a number of homes
similar to yours are selling for more based on the price paid by newcomers
to your neighborhood, it increases the marketability and market value of
your property should you decide to sell.
I have an older home in an area where they are building new homes.
How will this affect my property value?
The newer homes will not have a
direct affect on your value. We will, for valuing purposes, compare your
home to similar properties in terms of age, condition and size as well as
a number of other variables.
you didn’t increase my market value, why did my taxes
The County Assessor does not establish the amount of taxes you
pay. If the market value placed on your property by the assessor remained
the same as the previous year, the increase in your taxes can probably be
attributed to an increase in millage rates within your particular school
district. Millage levels are controlled by a vote of the people not the
Do you visit each
home in the county? I haven’t talked to anybody.
Yes, Oklahoma law requires us to
visit all properties once every four years. Since our working hours are
similar to the majority of the working public, it is unusual for the
appraisers to find someone home when the property is visited. We do
however make every effort to make contact with someone at the property to
explain why we are there and to address any concerns of the property
What if I think the
value placed on my property is wrong?
you feel the Assessor has made a mistake in valuing your property, you may
file an appeal with the Assessor’s office. Appealing the Market Value
(link to Appealing the Market Value).
How can my
property increase in value if it is getting
In order to establish a market value for your property we must
analyze the market in your neighborhood. (link
to glossary) While the homes similar to yours in terms of
characteristics such as condition and age, are selling for more one would
have to think your property would command a similar
Will my value increase every year?
The value of your property
is based on the market in your neighborhood. If the values in your area,
based on sales, should increase we must increase the entire neighborhood
to maintain current market values as required by law. However, if the
values were to decrease based on the sales occurring we again must make
the necessary adjustments and maintain the current market value by
decreasing the values in the