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County may take lots off digest

By Sherri Ellington Questions about taking six unsaleable lots off the tax digest were tabled by the Lamar County commission pending a meeting with tax commissioner Andrea Anthony and state auditors. The decision was made at the June 19 commission meeting, where Anthony noted each of the properties ‘“ four small and two slightly larger ‘“ cost more in sending out annual bills and notices to nonexistent owners and advertising them each year for the tax sales in which no one wants to buy the liens than the properties would bring in tax revenues. Fees for tax sales are $780 alone. ’I’m sorry I missed the meeting last week,’ Anthony told commissioners, referring to a June 14 workshop at which the no-sales were discussed. ’I didn’t realize you were having one.’ She said since then she had succeeded in finding an heir to one of the smaller properties, which range from .17 to .2 acres, but one estate has been going up for sale since 2003. ’A lady from Atlanta was paying on that one but for all I know she’s deceased,’ Anthony said. ‘I’d like to see us get on the same page with this.’ Vice chairman Nancy Thrash asked that the issue be tabled for the meeting, with commissioners Charles Glass and Benny Horton ‘“ in whose district most of the properties are ‘“ with Anthony and state auditors. ’I don’t like the idea of just writing them off,’ said Thrash. Commissioners also: ’¢ Approved the Local Option Sales Tax resolution already approved by the cities, giving Lamar County 56% of the sales tax. Barnesville will get 39%, Milner will get 4% and Aldora will get 1%. The same split will apply to Special Local Option Sales Tax revenue. ’¢ Purchased a CAT compactor roller from Yancey Brothers for a low bid of $50,000 to be lease purchased over 60 months at a cost of $884.95 a month at 2.9% interest. This is the third piece of large equipment needed to allow Lamar to start paving its own roads. ‘¢ Told Katherine McHan it neither paid for nor was paid by the Department of Transportation for its two T-SPLOST question and answer sessions, noting use of taxpayer money to promote a sales tax is illegal under Georgia law. ’Be for it or against it but don’t throw it out with the dishwater,’ said commissioner Jimmy Hearn. ’That or property taxes are going to fix our roads and we need other forms of revenue than going after taxpayers. Look at it closely and make a firm decision.’ ’¢ Heard an update on the Barnesville-Lamar County Humane Society, including its eight spay/ neuters the month before and an upcoming memorial brick fundraiser tied to Barnesville’s Summers Field Park project. ’¢ Heard Jere F. Moore ask that codes such as the unpopular emergency management ordinance, which was denied by Lamar County, be put online or otherwise made available to the public before first readings are held. He also suggested Lamar record its meetings and put them on YouTube. ’¢ Gave an explanation to Brenda Ross of open records act changes that put attorney Scott Mayfield as their custodian. Ross was concerned the cost of copies of requested records would go up but they will not. ‘¢ Told Lena Lacey the Lamar County Senior Center board can do fundraisers for trips and other activities.

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