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PROPERTY TAXES IN COMMERCE ALMOST DOUBLE BY YEAR'S END - KOAM TV 7

PROPERTY TAXES IN COMMERCE ALMOST DOUBLE BY YEAR'S END

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 Commerce, Oklahoma is facing a major tax hike, because of a couple of lawsuits.

Ottawa County Commissioners voted to raise property taxes in commerce by as much as 75%.

Lil' Café owner David White says “It makes it hard, because you have to earn more money throughout the day just to pay property taxes, you know, it takes from the bottom line."

The city owes about half a million dollars to pay damage costs when construction crews made critical errors working on flooded streets in 2011.

Residents should find their tax notice in the mail any day now. And for many property and business owners it will be a bill that will cost an arm and a leg.

White feels the city could have done more to protect business owners.

“It's gonna hurt, you know. I mean the cost of food, the cost of electricity, even wages have gone up over the past few years. So, everything counts,” states White.

Mayor Hart thinks the property tax hike is not the best way to go, and is submitting an appeal to the county. He says he would rather see a sales tax increase.

“To be able to pass a sales tax increase here in the city, and ultimately that will take the burden, the whole burden, of paying all this off from the residents and putting it on sales tax to where even people passing through would help share the cost of paying this back."

White says “That's kind of a tough one too because sales tax goes people think well it's higher there on sales tax so we'll go somewhere else where it's lower to make our purchases."

Mayor Hart hopes the city can eventually hold a special election to get the sales tax alternative on the ballot. But this year, the city won't be saved from the property tax hike.

In Commerce, Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM NEWS. 
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