County, school board discuss tax-related issues

Sometimes, Warren County and the Warren County School District share common interests.

Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston and Solicitor Nathaniel Schmidt addressed the school board on Monday to talk about reassessment, land bank, and LERTA.

The reassessment issue was the easiest.

“Reassessment has been passed at the county level,” Eggleston said. “We’re looking forward to moving that process forward.”

Schmidt provided an approximate timeline for the county-wide reassessment.

“They’re going to be putting together public relations forms for the community,” he said. “The process of informing the public is going to start in the next 30 to 60 days.”

After that, local staff will be trained for about a month starting in April.

In August, landowners will receive mailers asking them for data about their properties.

He said the county would receive and publicize bi-weekly reports once the work started.

Eggleston requested that the school district get on board with the land bank.

“The county initiated a land bank at the end of last year,” he said. “It gives the redevelopment authority more tools to deal with blight.”

To help fund the land bank’s work, half of the taxes on properties it handles go into its coffers for five years. He asked the board to pass a resolution adding the district to the taxing bodies participating in the land bank… and bringing the district’s property tax share.

“Most of the property taxes are associated with the school district,” Eggleston said. “If not approved… it takes one of the teeth out of the project.”

“Most of the properties weren’t having property taxes paid anyway,” he said. “If they are, you’re probably getting a fraction of what you would if it were redeveloped.”

Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) is an idea Eggleston first brought before the board in 2019.

On Monday, he said, “there are only six properties that get built in the county per year. We need more.”

The LERTA would enable owners to improve properties without having to pay the taxes related to those improvements for a number of years.

“Give people incentive to build houses, to redevelop houses, redevelop properties,” he said.

The county has some commercial LERTA opportunities, but no residential LERTA, he said.

The district represents the bulk of the property taxes throughout the county and a property-tax-relief plan will be much less effective without its participation, he said.

“If we pass this, Warren County would be a leader in the region,” Eggleston said. “A tool the planning commission, the chamber can use as a recruiting tool.”


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