This Week in Lincoln County – June 19, 2017

While doing some research on a road issue, I had to refer to a 1930 Lincoln County plat book.  It’s not often that an issue takes me to this volume, but once in a while we get a stumper that requires a trip into the archives.  Surprisingly, most of the roads that we travel today were established and in use already in 1930 and some even appear in my copy of the 1878 plat.  An occasional detour from the frantic social media driven lifestyle of today to immerse myself into the County’s history is indeed a pleasant distraction.

A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.

  • Speaking of social media, I continue to be amazed by some of the things that appear on Facebook, Twitter, etc. regarding the recent valuation changes sent by the Assessor. I don’t quite know whether to be entertained or disappointed by some of the elaborate conspiracy theories as to why the changes took place.  The most important thing to remember is that the re-assessment takes place in every odd numbered year as mandated by the State of Missouri.  No local officials, particularly the Assessor have any say in whether or not this takes place. Honestly, I have to shake my head at the internet scribes that preach strict adherence to the law 11 months of the year, yet lament the adherence to the statute during re-assessment month.
  • Let’s break down the process a bit more to gain an understanding of how a change in valuation will affect your tax bill. An overall increase in value does not equate to an equal increase in tax.  The Hancock Amendment requires taxing entities to “roll back” their levy amount to prevent such a thing from happening.  I cannot deny that the State mandated re-assessment will result in increased taxes, but I can assure you that the process is not an unregulated money grab by anyone.  When pondering the subject, compare the market value the Assessor has assigned to an honest estimate of what your asking price would be if you chose to sell your property.   When posing this question, I have found that the overwhelming majority of folks begrudgingly admit that the Assessor’s value is well below recent appraisals, sales, and other valuation methods.  If this is not the case on your property, call the Assessor’s office and make an appointment.  Kevin and his staff are there to assist.
  • There is bit of good news concerning the Office of Inspector General (OIG) Audit of our 2015 FEMA disaster grant. We have received a draft of the Final Report, and, while I am disappointed that FEMA does not pay for certain administrative costs of disaster recovery, the only “mistake” that they found on our part was that we had recorded a $1,800 expense as $11,800. Yours truly gets credit for fat fingering that one, but overall I am pleased that an audit at such a high level confirms that we are doing things by the book and following the rules.

That’s all I have time for now.  As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions.  Until next week…

Dan Colbert

Presiding Commissioner

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