All you needed now was a property-tax hike.
Marion County property taxes may have to be increased by 5.42 percent, based on past rates, according to the Kansas Association of Counties, if Kansas Senate Bill 317 exempting industrial properties such as grain elevators and oil equipment becomes law.
The real estate affected would include residential, commercial retail and farms.
Marion County Commission Chairman Dan Holub said Monday at the regular weekly commission meeting that the bill, which would also stop taxes for other industrial entities, is part of an effort at federal and state levels to shift the burden to local taxing entities.
According to KAC statistics provided by Holub, the exemptions would have decreased Marion County’s 2011 assessed valuation from just over $109 million to just under $103.5 million in 2011.
If the bill become law, Holub said rasing property taxes would be the only choice left for county commissioners to cover county expenses.
He said the same choice would be necessary for other entities that depend on property taxes, such as school districts and cities.
In other matters, Sheriff Rob Craft said Loyd Builders of Ottawa will return soon to install the new jail’s communications tower. It will be anchored in concrete 13 feet deep at the corner of the jail.
A new flag pole also has been erected at the jail, and is awaiting a new American flag supplied by county veterans.
The county received a credit of $19,513 from Treanor Architects for unused kitchen construction on the jail.
Hillsboro Mayor Delores Dalke and Charles Hui Yang met with commissioners to discuss how Yang might settle payment of more than $22,000 in back property taxes on the Hillcrest Motel already owed when he purchased the property.
Holub and Commissioner Roger Fleming told Yang that any settlement on the motel is beyond their authority, and that he needs to get an attorney to represent him in the matter.
Holub said he would do what he can to help Yang, although that wouldn’t be a matter of commission business.
Steve Smith, director of the county’s Emergency Medical Services, was told by commissioners to follow through with his idea to create a county-wide task force to explore integration of resources and communications to integrate medical efforts. The task force should include representation from the medical, law enforcement and legal fields.
The commissioners also approved Smith taking advantage of available funds and end-of-year pricing to acquire equipment that will be needed soon for training and use, such as a lift gurney and defibrillator.
Smith reported 93 ambulance runs for October, including 21 from Peabody, five from Florence, one back-up, 25 from Marion, 32 from Hillsboro and nine from Tampa.
They included 18 transfers, three cardiac, 22 medical emergency, three standby, 10 motor vehicle accidents, 18 falls, 14 no transfer, and five “disregard.
There were three first response runs from Goessel and one from Lincolnville.
Rollin Schmidt, director of recycling, transfer station, household hazardous waste and noxious weeds, said state officials plan a statewide sweep looking for illegal storage of discontinued chemicals such as 2,4,5-T.
Farmers wondering how to get rid of such chemicals may bring them to the noxious weed department for disposal without penalty, he said. Schmidt said the chemicals are disposed of through incinerators or shipment to Canadian landfills.
Schmidt reported 602.75 tons of solid waste disposed of through the transfer station in October with an average cost of loads to the landfill at $40.67 for a total of $20,200 for the month and $172,859 for the year so far.
The commissioners authorized Schmidt to get chemical bids early for next year before prices increases. Schmidt gave them the opportunity to approve a bid of $8,364 for five 120-gallon shuttles of 2,4-D from Ag Service of Hillsboro over a bid of $9,576 from Markley Service, Marion.
The commissioners approved a retail permit for a Christmas tree farm at 994 Meridian, northeast of Goessel.