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Jasper County, Reasnor looking to resolve tax issue

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 11:05 a.m. CDT

Reasnor Mayor Cliff Vos is hoping his city and the county can come to some sort of agreement on the city’s back taxes at Tuesday’s Jasper County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Vos was at last week’s meetings and explained to the board why he felt the city shouldn’t have to pay the $1,498 in taxes that it owes the county for three parcels of land.

He said one of the parcels should be exempt from the back taxes due to the property being under restrictions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after flooding in the past. Vos also said the city should be exempt from paying the taxes on the other two parcels and noted the taxes should have been abated when Reasnor took possession of those parcels.

County officials who were present at the meeting agreed with Vos about the city’s FEMA property but disagreed when it came to the other two properties.

“These are 2012 taxes that we are talking about,” Jasper County Assessor John Deegan said at the June 3 meeting. “These (properties) were owned by the bank in 2012. They are liable for the taxes, and now, if the attorney’s didn’t collect tax money when they gave the property to the city, that’s not our fault.

“I think the attorneys are to be liable. I’m not pointing fingers, but I do believe there’s some attorney involvement here. Why would the city accept some property that’s not clean? … I don’t understand how the city could accept something without a clear title. It’s got to be clean, (and) taxes are number one.”

Deegan later clarified he wasn’t blaming Reasnor’s  legal representatives for the city taking on property that wasn’t “clean” but indicated this situation should’ve been examined closer by those involved.

The tax delinquency notices were sent to Reasnor from Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop’s office and he also commented on the matter during the June 3 meeting.

“With the other two, we have 100 cases just like that,” Bishop said of the non-FEMA properties. “Somehow, the taxes didn’t get paid, and I would caution the board that if you abate these taxes, you will have a line of people standing up here saying, ‘I was caught in the same situation.’”

The board tabled the matter last week with the idea of possibly resolving the matter at this week’s meeting in mind.

Last year, the board approved the county’s 2013-2014 fiscal year budget and on Tuesday, there will be a vote on setting a public hearing to amend that budget. Currently, the budget shows the county taking in $28,063,976 in revenues and having $31,490,928 in total expenditures.

In other business:

• A canvass will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday to confirm the results of the Primary Election.

• There will be hiring resolutions for two part-time transport officers’ positions for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

• Jasper County GIS Director Laurie Jackson will ask the board to sign a contract with St. Charles, Ill.-based The Sidwell Company to provide a spatial adjustment service for the county. Spatial adjustment’ allow organizations to integrate and align data from various sources within the rest of its GIS database.

• The county previously entered in a agreement with the company in November for another service and this contract, if approved, would cost $26,000.

• Several citizens have requests for firework permits.

• The Emerson Hough Isaac Walton League in Newton is seeking  an all purpose tobacco permit.

Senior staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at trushing@newtondailynews.com.

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