Property taxes increase for county business owners

Road department head gets raise

Business owners in Marion County will see a noticeable jump in property taxes.

Marion County Appraiser Cindy Magill reported Monday to Marion County Commission that property evaluations were being mailed this week. Most properties will see minimal increases, with commercial properties seeing the most significant increase.

Magill said the increase is because recent sales of commercial properties have indicated that some commercial properties were not set at an appropriate value.

She encouraged taxpayers to contact her if they have any questions.

Taxpayers have 30 days from the time notices are sent to appeal the value.

Magill reminded taxpayers to bring in photographs, insurance information, recent sale information, whether the property has been listed for a while and not been sold, and other real estate listings comparable to their property.

She clarified that values of property are based on the fair market value of the amount that similar properties have been sold, not whether or not owners have completed or not completed requested information.

The state also requires appraisal office personnel to hang a door tag whenever they have visited a property. The department is required to physically visit 17 percent of the county parcels each year.

In other business:

— Following a 10-minute executive session between the commission and acting public works director John Summerville, as requested by Summerville to discuss personnel, the commission meeting reconvened and approved nearly a $300 per month pay increase for Summerville.

Summerville, who started Sept. 1 as a road foreman, currently is serving as acting public works director. The commission has not hired a permanent director or a road foreman.

Summerville's monthly pay went from $2,750 to $3,045 which became effective Feb. 21.

— The commission was informed that county public health administrator Diedre Serene had applied for three grants — maternal and child health for $20,145; child care licensing and registration, $11,710; and immunization action plan, $4,383. Serene's memo indicated that she did not anticipate receiving the full amount requested.

— Magill asked for and received a 15-minute executive session for personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— Schmidt asked for and received a five-minute executive session to discuss personnel. The session was extended another five minutes. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.

— County clerk Carol Maggard noted that the cost of the recount Marion City Council election was not truly reflected in the amount she was allowed to charge Marion City Councilman Jerry Kline who requested the recount.

According to statute, Maggard said she could not charge Kline for county employees' time and indirect costs. So in the end, the recount only took one hour with one non-county employee assisting at a cost of $8 to Kline.

The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse.