Taxable values increase in county

News editor

An increase in the value of farmland is driving an overall increase in Marion County assessed property values, County Appraiser Cindy Magill told the County Commission on Thursday.

The assessed value of farmland in the county went up about 7 percent, while the total assessed value for the county went up 3.5 percent before the appeals process, Magill said after the meeting.

Farmland is valued differently than other classes of property, using an eight year average of productivity, depending on soil type. The formula also takes commodity prices into account.

“I think the farmers should be prepared for it, because they know they had some good years in there,” Magill said.

She expects farmland values to remain elevated for at least a couple of years. Commercial property and newer home values are up a bit, but older home values fell. Valuation notices were scheduled to be mailed Friday, she said.

If property owners disagree with their appraisals, now is the time to appeal, Magill said. If they wait until they receive a tax bill, they will have to pay 50 percent of the bill before an appeal is heard.

Sales tax receipts dip

Sales tax receipts dipped about 1.2 percent in February compared to February 2012. The county received $49,904, down from $50,494.

Sales tax receipts for the first two months of 2013 remain more than double 2012, though, because of a triple-sized receipt in January when a business made an annual payment, County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman said after the meeting. Sales tax received for the first two months was $215,890, a 107.2 percent increase.

Sales tax for repayment of bonds for the new jail was $43,884, bringing the year-to-date total to $191,089.

In other business:

  • County Attorney Susan Robson said she would model a resolution fining ranchers whose livestock are frequently loose on one Dickinson County uses. For a first offense, ranchers would receive a warning, but after that there would be escalating fines based on the number of animals loose.
  • The Health Department will rent storage space for a shipment of car seats rather than buying a second storage pod.
  • Dispatch will cease equipping a backup dispatch center in Hillsboro, instead relying on one of two mobile communications trailers in case dispatch is out of service. The change will save $200 to $300 per month, Sheriff Rob Craft said.
  • A dispatcher will have until the end of March to use vacation that wouldn’t carry over. The past few months have been a difficult time for dispatchers to take time off, Craft said.
  • Craft met with the commission in closed session for 15 minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Robson met with the commission in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss personnel compensation and for another 10 minutes to discuss matters protected by attorney-client privilege. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • The commission met in closed session for eight minutes to discuss personnel at the request of Commission Chairman Randy Dallke. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro will supply 6,550 gallons of fuel to Road and Bridge Department for $20,883. Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa bid $21,150. Cardie Oil will supply 8,000 gallons of fuel for $26,330; Cooperative Grain & Supply bid $26,354.
  • Markley Service of Marion will supply 1,860 gallons of 2,4-D Amine and 20 gallons of 2,4-D Lo Vol herbicides to Noxious Weed Department for $27,090; Ag Service of Hillsboro bid $27,557, and Cooperative Grain & Supply bid $27,615.
  • Cooperative Grain & Supply will supply 60 gallons of Tordon 22K, 10 gallons of Triclopyr Remedy, and 100 gallons of Dicamba for $8,348; Markley Service bid $9,366.
  • Cooperative Grain & Supply will supply 256 ounces of metsulfuron methyl, 24 gallons of Milestone, 40 containers of Sahara DG, and 48 containers of Krovar I DF for $9,181; Markley Service bid $9,627, and Ag Service bid $9,953.

The next commission meeting will be Monday.

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