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The Carthage Press
  • County lowers property tax rate

  • A combination of higher sales tax collections and lower property values as a result of the tornado that high Joplin in 2011 means Jasper County residents will get a break on property taxes this year.
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  • A combination of higher sales tax collections and lower property values as a result of the tornado that high Joplin in 2011 means Jasper County residents will get a break on property taxes this year.
    Jasper County Auditor Richard Webster said the owner of a $150,000 home will save almost $7 on property taxes when they pay up in December as a result of the lowering of the general revenue property tax rate from 9.93 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 7.53 cents.
    Webster calculated the rate using the state’s formula and it was approved by the Jasper County Commissioners on Tuesday.
    Webster said the owner of that house will pay $21.46 to the county in property taxes for the general revenue fund as compared to $28.30 last year. That does not include school and other property tax levies.
    Webster said the decrease is part of a pattern of wildly swinging tax rates as a result of last year’s tornado.
    “The property tax rate varies from year to year as a function of increases in property tax valuations and sales tax revenues,” Webster said at Tuesday’s regular county commission meeting. “Things get volatile when you have an event like the tornado that causes big changes in property values and sales tax collections.”
    Webster said tax rates are liable to change significantly again in 2013 as rates move up and down as a result of the tornado, but things will eventually smooth out.
    Tax rates were much less volatile in the Jasper County Common Road District, which does not include the tornado area. The tax rate in that area remained virtually unchanged, moving from 20.33 cents to 20.36 cents this year.
    Webster said the change means the owner of 160 acres of agricultural land worth $500 an acre will pay two cents more in property taxes this year, going from $19.53 to $19.55.
    The county anticipates collecting a maximum of $4,388,643 for the general revenue fund this year and $701,722 in property tax revenue for the County Common Road District.
    In other business, the commissioners approved a new plat for seven landowners on the Missouri side of the tiny border town of Opolis in northwest Jasper County.
    The town had last been platted in 1880 but the lines platted back then had somehow been changed over the years.
    Kim Scripsick, who owns a home and some land in Opolis, said she found out the home she was trying to sell was on land that had been platted for Second Street, and her neighbor’s garage and part of his home was on her land.
    She said residents found the problem when Scripsick tried to sell the home to someone who was using a Veteran’s Administration loan to buy the house and the person needed a survey to make the purchase.
    Page 2 of 2 - She said seven landowners were involved. Scripsick said the new plat shifted all the boundary lines to the south and reduced the width of all the streets in the small community.
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