Oklahoma Tax Records
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This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott Ph.D., FUGA for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Heavy spring rains with severe flooding in 1902 awakened Oklahoma’s citizens to the need for better roads. Territorial laws placed responsibility with townships, and a road overseer was to be elected for each district. General property tax and some funds from liquor licenses collected by counties and townships were used to finance the building of public roads along section lines. A road tax was required, along with the requirement that all males between the ages of twenty-one and forty-five donate four eight-hour days a year to work on highways. Those who did not work or provide a substitute were fined $5 for each absence.
The county treasurer or assessor may have tax or assessment records. Some tax records are stored in museums, historical, and/or genealogical societies’ repositories. Published tax records for Oklahoma are almost nonexistent. Some duplicated copies of county tax records are stored in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, State Archives Division for security purposes but are not available for research. Koplowitz, Guide to the Historical Records of Oklahoma (cited in Background Sources for Oklahoma), indicates location of county records, including those of tax and assessments.