In speaking with the appraiser’s office at their Monday meeting, County Commissioners Randy Dallke and Dan Holub defended their granting tax rebates that directly violated the parameters outlined in the application for said rebates.
Specifically, commissioner Randy Dallke referenced a Marion County Record editorial that criticized the decision last week.
“I’m not going to change my ways because of a publication,” Dallke said. “There’s a lot of things people don’t know about government, they don’t take the time to learn them.”
The rebates are part of the county’s neighborhood revitalization program, which provides property tax rebates off a property constructed for five years after the project is completed. The program used to offer 10-year rebate plans, but that changed.
Nikki Reid of the appraiser’s office spoke with commissioners about various scenarios Monday, trying to nail down which projects would be eligible and which would be ineligible.
“I’m just trying to nail this down for the future,” she told commissioners.
Dan Holub said he appreciated Reid’s willingness to cut the problem off before it becomes too troublesome. He joined Dallke, however, in defending the commission’s actions last week.
“We’re not the IRS,” Holub said. “You cannot possibly write a resolution, a rule, a law, whatever, that covers every conceivable consideration, you have got to be able to think and make a decision based on the facts.”
Program rules specify that to qualify for the rebates, applications must be submitted within 60 days of the granting of a building permit, and before construction begins. The rules state that no exceptions are allowed, in all-capital, underlined letters.
For the property in question, the program application was not submitted until construction was finished, more than 240 days after the specified deadline.
“We all make mistakes and we’re here to correct them,” Dallke added.
Holub said while the move was criticized, he stands by it.
“Spirit and intent means a lot,” Holub said. “That one last week, the spirit and intent was there, the papers got screwed up. I’m not going to be held hostage to a form.”
Holub did not specify what, if any, mistake was considered in waiving program rules. The waived rule was part of the overall outline of program rules, and not part of the application form.
Holub and Dallke were the only two commissioners in attendance Monday, as Lori Lalouette was absent.