When budgeting for a new home, you should take several variables—beyond mortgage payments and interest rates—into account. Just as you calculate sales tax when purchasing goods, so should you take property tax into account when looking at real estate. So, if you want to buy a house in Edmond, Oklahoma, here’s what local property taxes involve.
A Closer Look at Real Estate Taxes
The working definition of property tax is fairly simple; it’s any tax on real estate or similar types of property (land, buildings, etc.). Local governments enforce these taxes within their jurisdictions to fund various public systems.
The county calculates this tax based on the market value of your property and the overall tax rate. Since the market fluctuates, annual assessments are performed—not in person but through recent sales on similar properties—and your financial obligation can change each year.
The Specifics of Oklahoma Property Tax
Fortunately, Oklahoma property taxes are some of the lowest in the country—less than half the national average. This relief is mostly due to state restrictions on annual property tax increases. More specifically, the county can’t raise these taxes more than 3% from the previous year on residential and agricultural properties (other properties max out at 5%). For seniors, the savings can run further, and many qualify for a tax freeze that prevents home value increases.
Note: Oklahoma County assessors determine the taxable value of a home based on the market value, so rates can increase or decrease according to neighborhood and area fluctuations. This means even if nothing changes on your property from year to year, your taxes might increase or decrease depending on overall neighborhood home values.
What You Can Expect to Pay in Edmond, Oklahoma
Property tax can be dissected even further, since rates—voted on by taxpayers—vary across Oklahoma County (where Edmond sits) depending on school district and other location-specific variables. As the most populous county in the state and containing the capital, Oklahoma County has higher rates than surrounding areas, but remains affordable in relation to other states. For example, the average property tax rate in the county is 1.05%, lower than the average rate in both Kansas (1.587%) and Texas (1.86%).
To put the percentage into perspective, smartasset.com estimates the median home value in Oklahoma County at $137,500. Applying the local tax rate of 1.05%, the median annual property tax payment becomes $1,443. Another positive aspect of living in Edmond is property taxes only go toward funding public schools, whereas some areas use revenue for other public entities (like libraries) and even city and county governments. In Edmond, you know your tax dollars fund public education and no ambiguous extras.
Calculating Property Tax Before You Buy
If you want more specifics about the area you’re looking to purchase, you can visit the county tax assessor at https://assessor.oklahomacounty.org/. Not only does this official source contain a handy FAQ page, but it has an estimated tax calculator to help you unearth property-specific details. With links to help find applicable tax rates and the property’s taxable market value, predicting your first payment has never been so easy.