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Oklahoma Supreme Court rules for rural school district

The Mountain View-Gotebo School District won a lawsuit against the Oklahoma Tax Commission seeking $733,000 that was denied to the district and Kiowa County because of a paperwork error.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND Published: October 22, 2011

The Houston-based company that owns the wind-farm received a manufacturing tax exemption from the state and didn't pay those property taxes in 2010.

Lawmakers pledged to reimburse local entities for the money lost because of state exemptions and created a reimbursement fund in state law.

For the past four years, Kiowa County has been reimbursed for the exemptions given to the Horizon Wind Energy farm.

But in fiscal year 2010, the application for reimbursement from the Kiowa County assessors office was not received by the June 15 deadline.

The Tax Commission's hands were tied, and the reimbursement was denied.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Taylor wrote a short opinion that the wind energy company should receive its exemption, and Kiowa County should receive its reimbursement.

“The Kiowa County Assessor, while acting as the agent of the Oklahoma Tax Commission, failed to fulfill its statutory duties,” Taylor wrote.

While most of the money will go to the Mountain View-Gotebo School District, the tax reimbursement also will fund county operations, including the Caddo-Kiowa County Career Technology Board, that joined in the lawsuit.