Council hears possibility of reassessment

Cathy May, Contributing Writer

Another property reassessment this year? Yes, it is possible. On October 10 at 6:00 p.m. the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance will hold a public meeting to determine whether or not Ripley County will have to be reassessed. At the Ripley County Council meeting on September 17 Auditor Mary Ann McCoy said if that happens it will cost the county thousands of dollars.

Ripley County is one of seven counties in the state who may have to go through another reassessment this year. In a letter from the Department of Local Government Finance it states “the assessment-to-sales ratio study submitted by the Ripley County Assessor indicated that assessments on residential property in Adams and Shelby Townships were inaccurate or inequitable.”

Also, improved residential property assessments in Brown and Otter Creek townships and the unimproved residential property assessments in Adams Township were outside the acceptable range of uniformity required by Indiana Code.

Also in question were the commercial assessments in Franklin, Brown, Center, Delaware, Jackson, Johnson, Otter Creek, Shelby and Washington townships. The letter stated that 85% of industrial parcels had no change or a decline in assessed values.

Upon reviewing the data, the DLGF found compelling evidence of assessment errors and concludes that sufficient cause exists to justify further investigation into the reassessment of real property in Ripley County. This is for March 1, 2006 assessment date.

In other business, Sheriff Tom Grills asked for two additional appropriations. The first one was $15,000 for inmate medical and dental. This was approved 7-0.

The second one was for $15,000 for meals for prisoners. Sheriff Grills was asked if he would look in his budget and see if there are any accounts that he could transfer the money for this expense. He said he would and will come back and present it at next month’s meeting.

Tad Brinson, Director of the Area Planning Commission, asked for three additional appropriations: $1,000 for equipment and supplies; $500 for additional printing costs and $5,000 for legal fees regarding costs of code violations. Brinson said his department owes more than $1,000 in legal fees and has only $14 in that account. All requests were approved 7-0.

The 2008 budget for the county general fund was approved at $6,378,897. In budget hearings earlier this month about a million dollars was removed from the proposed budgets of $7,444,591. The salary ordinances were also approved 7-0.

Council brought up the request by the Ripley County Humane Society for a donation to help with their building project. The Budget Committee will meet and bring back a recommendation to the full council next month.

All seven county council members were in attendance. Attorney Neil Comer and Auditor Mary Ann McCoy were present to advise the council members. The next regular meeting of the Ripley County Council will be Monday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the commissioner’s room of the Ripley County Courthouse Annex.