Bed and breakfast must be zoned

Two wrongs do not make a right and now the county wants to work with a landowner to correct a problem.

Marion County Appraiser Cindy Magill informed Marion County Commission Jan 31 that there was an illegal bed and breakfast operation at 1360 U.S.-56, Hillsboro.

The purpose for Magill to inform the commission was to seek guidance regarding the collection of additional property taxes for the unreported business.

State statute requires that residential property owners pay 11.5 percent and commercial properties pay 25 percent per the formula in assessing taxes.

The appraiser's office had contacted the owners regarding the use of two homes, each with four bedrooms. Magill said office personnel was told by the owners that they were not running a bed and breakfast.

Further investigation revealed that the property owners were indeed running a bed and breakfast and a conference center, serving more than 50 meals at a time and reportedly is booked for this year's Hillsboro Arts & Crafts Fair.

Since Magill's contact with the owners, the owners' attorney has applied for a zoning change for the bed and breakfast and convention center. The issue will be reviewed by the county board of zoning appeals at its February meeting.

The commission approved the recouping of additional property taxes for the commercial property for 2007 and is willing to forgive the additional taxes for 2006.