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Property value notices sent to 11,000 in county

More than 11,000 Lincoln County property owners had valueincreases of $1,000 or more following a state-mandated propertyreappraisal, Tax Assessor-Collector Nancy Jordan told supervisorsMonday.

More than 11,000 Lincoln County property owners had valueincreases of $1,000 or more following a state-mandated propertyreappraisal, Tax Assessor-Collector Nancy Jordan told supervisorsMonday.

Jordan said notices to those property owners were sent outyesterday. County officials encouraged anyone who disagrees withtheir new totals to contact either Jordan’s office or the chanceryclerk’s office to set up a hearing.

“If anyone objects to the values we have, now is the time forthem to let it be known,” Jordan said.

New property values are open for public inspection during Julyin the board of supervisors room at the government complex.Hearings with Jordan and supervisors are expected to be scheduledfor early August.

The overall value of real property, the largest of the propertycategories, increased approximately $29 million from $83 million to$112, Jordan said. Combined with other property categories, such aspublic utilities and mobile homes, the total value of property inLincoln County is over $200 million.

Commenting on real property, Jordan said values cannot becompared to those from last year. She said they must be compared towhat the value would be if the property is put up for sale on theopen market.

“There’s going to be some screaming,” District 3 SupervisorNolan Earl Williamson said as Jordan presented the new propertyrolls.

Property values are used in conjunction with the tax levy,expressed as a millage rate, to determine how much in taxes aperson pays on their land, automobile tag and other forms ofproperty. Supervisors predicted a millage rate decrease to try andoffset the property value increase.

“We’ll have to lower the millage to come back down close towhere it was,” said District 1 Supervisor Cliff Givens.

Jordan indicated city residents would see the biggest effectfrom the new values.

“The value change that will reflect most is inside the city,”Jordan said.

Speaking about city and county differences, Jordan said much ofthe property in the county is assessed as agriculture use value.Agriculture use value is set by the State Tax Commission and rangesfrom $125 an acre to $312 an acre, depending on soil types.

Jordan said the first acre of a county resident’s property isassigned a true market value. The rest of the property is given anagriculture use value.

Regarding property values inside the city, Jordan said therewere a few errors that had been brought to her attention.

Jordan also mentioned some properties recently bought by thecity and county and their impact on property value calculations.She pointed out $175,000 the city paid, and $89,000 the countypaid, for lots near the government complex.

“It’s something I don’t feel should be used,” Jordan said,adding later that the tax commission said the figures could be.”We’re going to take another look at that.”

CLEAN-UP DISPUTE

In other business Monday, supervisors heard from Ronald Norrisregarding a lingering property clean-up dispute on his property inBogue Chitto. Following complaints as far back as 1998, Solid WasteCoordinator Ronnie Durr has asked Norris to clean up the property,which Norris said he has done.

“Everything as far as I can tell is all right,” said Norris, whowrote a letter to supervisors claiming harassment by Durr in thematter.

While also talking about recycling efforts, Norris said he stillhas to put up a privacy fence, but he is tired of dealing withDurr. He said he believes he has conformed to Durr’s letter.

Durr said he wrote a letter to Norris in March asking him toclean his property of tires, numerous white goods, shingles, aircompressor motors and potentially hazardous materials.

“It got quite thick in there,” Durr said.

Durr said he had given Norris time to clean up the property, butwas still getting calls from concerned citizens.

“We continually grow out of one problem into something else,”Durr said.

Durr said he had not contacted the state Department ofEnvironmental Quality about the situation. He believed thesituation could be resolved.

“It’s not going to be done with us at each other’s throats,”Durr said.

Williamson, who represents the Bogue Chitto area, agreed to meetwith Durr and Norris to try and resolve the situation. A meetingdate was not set.