County to ask for appraisal allowances

Marion County Commission members agreed Monday to send a letter to the state asking that rural county appraisers be allowed to consider things like auction sales of homes in appraiser determinations of property tax values.

Commissioner Randy Dallke gave several examples of homes selling at auction in the southern part of the county.

?This may not be happening in Marion or Hillsboro,? he said, ?but our values are declining.?

Dallke said homes in predominantly rural counties are being held by the state to the same value determinations used in urban counties such as Johnson and Sedgwick.

County Appraiser Cindy Magill said she is given rules and guidelines for appraisal by the state, and has not been given any power to consider auction of homes in determining valuations.

She said value declines will be reflected in property taxes at some future point because determinations are made over three-year periods.

Commissioner Dan Holub said it is difficult for rural counties when the state determines values on ?a one size fits all? basis.

The commissioners approved a five-minute executive session with Magill to talk about her role in the tax determinations, with Dallke voting against the session.

The commissioners approved an agreement presented by Magill to split arial geotech survey fee receipts with companies that need the information with contracting company R&S Digital on a 50-50 basis with the company doing the work.

On another tax issue, Holub said he is hearing from Kansas senators and representatives that they were ?misled? by contentions that the TransCanada Keystone oil pipeline would not go through Kansas if they were not granted a property tax exemption for 10 years.

?Keystone didn?t even ask for the exemption,? he said. ?They were coming through here anyway.?

Holub said the decision potentially cost four Kansas counties, including Marion, $4 million in lost property tax values.

Holub said he promises that if Keystone follows through on a rumored plan to bring a natural gas pipeline through here, the Canadian-based company will face the counties in a more prepared manner.

Commission Chairman Roger Fleming said he thinks the counties have managed to let their concerns be heard, and that now it?s up to agencies like the Kan?sas Department of Revenue, which is contending the exemption is illegal, ?to do their part.?

?They can see that Kansas oil producers are not benefitting from this like they were led to believe,? Fleming said. ?Personally, I want to see this thing run its course, and for the state to try to eliminate such things in the future. That?s where I?m at.?

Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro was awarded a $25,972 transport road and bridge fuel bid for 5,500 gallons of diesel and 2,500 gallons of gasoline over a competitive bid of $26,210 from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa.

The commissioners approved purchase of an emergency management HP 4000 Pro computer with programs for $813.

Steve Smith, Emergency Management Service director, reported 108 ambulance runs for August compared to 64 runs for the same month in 2010.

They included 24 runs from Peabody, 12 from Florence, one backup, 24 from Marion, 41 from Hillsboro and six from Tampa.

The calls included 16 transfers, five cardiac, 25 medical emergencies, 11 standby, 10 motor vehicle accidents, 19 falls, 17 no transports and five ?disregard? calls.

Two first response runs were from Goessel.

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