County hears assessment arguments - Republic-Times | News

County hears assessment arguments

By on August 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Residents of the Brellinger subdivision in Columbia spoke at Monday’s Monroe County Board meeting to express dissatisfaction with the way their property tax assessments were determined this year. (Alan Dooley photo)

About 25 residents of the Brellinger subdivision in Columbia descended on the Monroe County Board meeting Monday to express dissatisfaction with their 2016 property tax assessments.

The concerned residents, led by Brian Estes, addressed their concerns and documentation to assessor Carl Wuertz, who was not in attendance.

They said past assessments had taken into account the values of homes in a larger area, including those of comparable size in nearby subdivisions.

Rather, they contended, Wuertz’s office used the sale prices of only homes within the Brellinger subdivision rather than homes in “close proximity,” a term used by the Assessor’s Office. This provided a sample of only three homes, providing far too small a sample for a fair assessment of increased value, they asserted.

They said this resulted in exorbitantly higher property taxes to be paid this year.

Mark Altadonna, one of three members of the Monroe County Board of Review, attended and explained the board’s methodology in reviewing requests to alter assessments.

The residents asked the commissioners to direct Wuertz and the review board to return to prior practices using comparable homes from outside the same subdivision, and to use a larger number of those comps for comparison.

The commissioners, while sympathetic, told those in attendance that Wuertz, as an elected official rather than a county employee, is not subject to their directions. They agreed with several citizens that their next step was to shift their appeal to the State Property Tax Appeals Board in Springfield, or, if they thought any laws had been violated, to talk to Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann…>>>

Read the rest of this story in the August 9 issue of the Republic-Times.

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Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.