Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ken Yazel Wins A Supreme Court Fight

Wealthy Tulsans are living out their retirement
 years in tax-exempt single-family "cottages"
 like this, at Montereau, in South Tulsa.
  The Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed with the Tulsa County Assessor that his office could hire it's own attorney to fight the possible appeal of a tax assessment dispute on a very costly piece of property.

  County Assessor, Ken Yazel, had battled The Warren Medical Research Center, Inc.; Montereau, Inc., and the Tulsa County Board of Equalization to put some valuable property on the tax rolls.  Montereau challenged the assessment and the Board of Equalization said the property was not taxable because of its nonprofit incorporation.
   Yazel  appealed that decision in district court ... Read the story at the Tulsa Beacon.
  The Oklahoma Supreme court has not yet heard the actual case. This ruling simply corrects a lower court's misapplication of state laws and regulations for the county assessor's office and procedures.
  The question that stumps the Tulsa County taxpayers is;
 "Why didn't Tulsa County's district attorney's office provide the needed legal representation?"
The Tulsa County Library lists the following information of the


Tulsa County Courthouse Annex
500 S. Denver, Room 116
TulsaOK 74103
Phone: 918-596-5836

  1. Fax: 918-596-5867
Contact: Debi Toliver, County Clerk Deputy.

  1. Chairman: Dr. A. Theodore Kachel, V. Chair: 
  2. Warren G. Morris, Member: 
  3. Ruth B. Gaines, 
  4. Sec: Earlene Wilson.

  • Excise Board meets as needed. Equalization Board meets daily to weekly depending on the number of protests filed. Meetings are usually held in Commission room 119, Tulsa County Administration Building.
  • A three member board with two distinct functions, as follows:
  • As the Excise Board, it functions as the watchdog agency which reviews all appropriations and requests of the county to determine if they are legal and adequately funded. The Excise Board computes the levies for all county municipalities and certifies them to the County Assessor; it apportions the millage; it reviews and approves the county budgets.
  • As Equalization Board, its duty is to equalize, correct, and adjust the tax assessment rolls to conform to fair cash value by adusting the appraised or market valuation of certain properties or correcting any errors it may discover.
  • Updated 5/10. Update req mailed 3/12, 3/13
Alternate Names: 
Equalization Board.
Excise and Equalization Board.
Excise Board.

 We cannot naively pretend that politics and money have no impact on the consistent application of justice. In a very real way, justice is purchased. We see a clear distinction between the verdicts and sentences that the courts hand out to the poor and the wealthy. Prosecutors are often compared to cowards when faced with a court case and a defendant with a high-priced crack legal team. Does Montereau's vast assets have any impact on the case?

  Is the cost of county govt. being carried on the backs of our less-affluent population? Should "for-profit" medical facilities pay property taxes just like "for-profit" auto repair centers or veterinary clinics? We don't generally celebrate higher taxes, but we do demand equity in how the current laws are being applied to all segments of Tulsa's society.
David Van Risseghem

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