Tulsa County assessor dispute materializes in House bill

BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Friday, March 01, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY – A long-standing dispute between Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel and other county officials surfaced Thursday in a House committee meeting.

Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow, guided through a bill requested by Yazel that stems from his opposition to the way Tulsa County budget documents are presented. Brumbaugh assured the Government Modernization Committee that House Bill 1230 would not, as some feared, give county excise boards the authority to change or veto county budgets but would assure that “all funds are on the table” during the budget-making process.

Yazel, a Republican, has said for several years that the Tulsa County Budget Board – made up of all elected county officials – doesn’t provide a complete accounting of reserve and carryover funds.

The other Tulsa County officials, all but one of them also Republicans, have strenuously disagreed, citing court and attorney general decisions in their favor.

Rep. Richard Morrissette, D-Oklahoma City, strongly objected to both the content and timing of Brumbaugh’s bill, which was approved by the committee. HB 1230 was one of 14 so-called “shell bills” hatched Thursday in the committee, the last to meet before the deadline for House bills to get a “do-pass” recommendation from a House committee.

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