Board of Equalization
The county Board of Equalization is comprised of the three members of the Excise Board.
Protest hearings are scheduled in April - May of each as necessary. A special session may be called to end not later than July 31st each year.
The county Board of Equalization is required, by law, to equalize the assessment roll. For Oklahoma, an equalized assessment roll means taxable property within the county is assessed at the fair cash value for its use. The members as a board have the authority to:
- Hear protests filed against a property’s appraised value, or taxable status or exempt status.
- Raise or lower appraised values to conform to the fair cash value of a property’s use.
- Add omitted property.
- Cancel assessments on property not taxable.
In its capacity to hear and settle protests, the county Board of Equalization is a quasi- judicial body. An aggrieved taxpayer is first required to file an informal protest with the county assessor. If taxpayer and assessor cannot come to an agreement, then the taxpayer files an appeal with the county board of equalization.
At a protest session, the board hears testimony from both the taxpayer and the county assessor. Sufficient evidence must be presented to support a change. If the protest is against a property’s appraised value, then the fair cash value of similar properties must be presented. The law is very clear on this matter. The county board of equalization shall not change the appraised value of a property if the adjustment results in an appraised value that would be inconsistent with the equalized values of similar properties. A taxpayer, or the county assessor, may file an appeal in the district court against a ruling by the board. Protests cannot be heard on the assessment rate since the board does not have the authority to change it. The assessment rate within a county is set at the rate in effect in 1996, unless it has been changed since then.