Assessor says why tax base has grown

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Marshall County's property tax base increased during the past 12 months for a variety of reasons, according to the property assessor.

"The assessor's office appraised all new construction in the county, did a thorough review, made prorations on construction that required prorating, made various other changes that would increase property values such as additions to homes and other buildings," Property Assessor Linda Haislip said late last week.

"The assessor does have an explanation of all value changes made in Marshall County," Haislip said in response to a report here on July 8 when the increase in the tax base was shown to substantiate an increase in the amount of money raised by the property tax rate.

Assessors do not set the property tax rate. That's done by county commissioners who, according to other elected leaders of the county, are waiting for the school system's spending request before setting a county budget. Budgets for Lewisburg, Chapel Hill and Petersburg were adopted in June. Municipalities rely on the county assessor for figures to calculate their anticipated revenue.

Beyond the assessor's office's review of new construction, Haislip listed eight reasons for an increase in the county's overall tax base.

"Other changes that would increase the overall assessment are remodeled homes, new driveways, new barns, sheds, pools, patios, or any other improvements to the property," Haislip stated in a letter sent on Thursday afternoon.

"[A]dditions to business' personal property has also given increases to the overall assessment for the county," Haislip wrote.

Business' personal property includes a store's inventory and a factory's machinery for production. For example, when Sanford removed its pencil-making equipment, that personal property was no longer subjected to an appraisal.

"The overall combined assessment for Marshall County was an increase over last year's assessment," Haislip said.

"All properties did not increase in value since last year; some property values increased; some property values deceased; and most properties did not change from the previous year's assessment."