County Commissioners Meet March 6

By Tim Huether

It sounds worse than it is, but ag land tax assessments are set to go up 37.5 percent on crop lands for 2013 for Bennett County. 

Bennett County Director of Equalization Jeff Siscoe explained to County Commissioners at their March 6 meeting that the state sets the productivity numbers and it is 25 percent above last year and last year we were 10 percent below what was set by the state.

He said all non-ag tax assessments went up five percent and they will attempt to re-assess the entire city of Martin in the next year.

Ag land is assessed on the type of soils in a piece of land and the productivity numbers. 

According to Siscoe, all soil in Bennett County has a rating used to factor productivity. Number one rated soil is appraised at $756 per acre.

He said the state has changed the way they assess land several times in the past few years, making it a little confusing.

With the tax freeze, the taxable amount in the County may only go up 3 percent, but if a person’s property goes up considerably, and others goes down, the person with the higher valuations will pay more and the person with less, will pay less.

Any person wishing to protest their assessments may do so at the Board of Equalization meeting on April 9, however, you must submit a letter to the County Auditor’s office by April 2 with your intent and a time will be set for you to address the commissioners at the meeting. For more information on that, you may contact Susan Williams  at 685-6931.

In other County Commission action, Chairman Rolf Kraft said Bennett County States Attorney Ken Orrock recommended they name the Winner Jail as the official jail for the county. That item will be on the agenda for the March 20 meeting.

County Treasurer Jolene Donovan asked the commissioners to approve getting a credit card system that will allow her to accept payment of bills by a credit card.  This system, Govteller, would charge the credit card holder the fees so the county would not have to pay them. There is an up front cost for equipment of $329. 

The commissioners approved the system. 

The commissioners approved a resolution commending and thanking the community action program director and volunteers for their great service in Bennett County.

The commissioners approved the hiring of Casey Cummings Sr. as a 24/7 clerk at $8.76 per hour with a maximum of 40 hours per week. Newton Cummings abstained from voting.

Jeff Siscoe presented the Emergency and Disaster plan to the commissioners for their approval to be submitted to the state. They approved the plan submittal and the Local Emergency Planning Committee membership submitted by Siscoe.

The commissioners agreed to surplus several items from the sheriff’s office. 

The next meeting is Wed., March 20.

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