Mississippi County News
CHARLESTON - Assessed valuation has dropped in Mississippi County - exactly how much is in question.
County commissioners discussed the county's drop in total assessed personal property as well as some drastic changes in line-item figures with Assessor W.R. "Bill" Thompson during the regular county commission meeting Thursday.
Commissioners first sought clarification on what the "bus," "miscellaneous" and "other" categories included, noting the bus category dropped from $7 million last year to zero this year.
Another question commissioners had was why the total assessed value of automobiles in the county went up from $5.6 million to $10.4 million with fewer automobiles in the county.
Shirley Coffer of the assessor's office explained that with the software used last year, semi trailers were placed under the "bus" category, but with new software implemented for this year they are totaled along with automobiles.
With the former software, a list of personal property was shown with only a total valuation. Personal property now is line-itemed with the new software.
"I hope our new program is going to be better," said Thompson. "It's still on probation."
"So really, we're not comparing apples with apples," said Commissioner Homer Oliver.
The topic then turned toward discussion of the county being down $2.5 million in assessed valuation from last year.
"We're not down two and half million," said Coffer. "We're not even down $2 million."
Thompson cited figures showing personal property is down a little over 6 percent at $1,854,890. "Real estate is up, personal property is down," Thompson said.
"We went up in real estate and all others," he added, with the total assessed value down only $90,470 from last year at this time. "We're getting big-time new construction."
County Clerk Junior DeLay said compared with last year's figures from assessor's office reports of personal property excluding state-assessed railroad and utility property, total assessed value is down $2.2 million. If the state-assessed railroad and utility property is included, the figure is close to $2.4 million.
Officials noted some personal property lists have not be turned in yet, but typically only an additional $200,000 is turned in on tardy lists.
Moving into a Board of Equalization hearing, the board approved a high-mileage reduction in assessed value for a resident's vehicle from $1,400 to $1,150
Thompson then commented on an appeal brought before the BOE last year in which a resident asked the board to lower their assessed value based on an appraisal of $51,000. The assessor's office ultimately assessed it at $58,900 when they discovered a swimming pool on a second inspection.
Thompson said the property recently sold for $65,000. "So I wasn't that far off," he said.
The board next discussed river frontage property valuation. "The way it's done is antiquated," said Thompson. "We need to come up with a new formula."
Thompson said the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers designates where barges can be tied up along the river.
Thompson proposed using a new formula which takes linear feet of land leased to barge companies multiplied by the per-foot charge to arrive at gross income, then subtracting expenses to come up with a net figure. "Without question it will stand up to state appeal," Thompson said.
"If you have a formula, we'll put the formula into effect for next year," Blumenberg agreed.