Some tax rebate applicants do not follow rules

So, what's a commission to do when participants in the county's neighborhood revitalization program do not complete the necessary paperwork?

Should the county disqualify them which would deny them from receiving thousands of dollars of property tax rebates or give them another chance to comply?

Those were the questions asked and attempted to answer Monday during a Marion County Commission meeting..

County appraiser Cindy Magill reported she had sent more than 40 letters at the end of December, requesting the necessary paperwork as required for new construction or additions. Of those, 28 responded, 11 did not, and four were late.

The paperwork is necessary to keep the appraiser's office informed of the progress and as part of the requirement, the applicants must prove the costs of materials by producing receipts.

Property owners participating in the program could receive up to 90 percent of the increased property tax amount through the rebate program.

The program was designed as an incentive for new construction of houses and businesses and additions and improvements to existing structures. However, during the past few years, some participants did not respond to numerous requests for the necessary information.

In the letter that Magill sent, it stated that failure to file the necessary information would disqualify the applicant. Some of those who did not respond had applied for a rebate for a new home which could mean a significant tax savings if the necessary paperwork was completed.

Magill explained that the tax rebate does not begin until the project is completed. Applicants are given until the second Jan. 1 to complete the work. For example, if an applicant begins construction March 1, 2008, that applicant will have until Jan. 1, 2010 to complete the project.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said the county should either penalize those who failed to comply by not giving them a tax rebate for a year or disqualify them from the program.

In the end, Magill was instructed to check out the mechanics of penalizing applicants and report at the next meeting.

In other business:

— Interim public works director John Summerville requested a letter be sent to Chase County Commission regarding a bridge in Chase County that needs to be paved. The county doesn't maintain the road but somehow is responsible for the bridge. The letter will ask the commission to take over the maintenance of the bridge.

— Summerville reported that another bridge in the northern part of the county on 310th Road, west of Chisholm Trail, needed to be viewed by the commission. On that road, there are three bridges with a five-span bridge in need of repair.

— Maggard reported that the county had received a check from Kansas Department of Transportation for $432,122 to go toward the overlay on Sunflower Road and South Third Street, Marion.

— The commission approved the purchase of a new server for the courthouse at a cost of $2,345 from Great Plains Computers & Networking of Marion. Other bids were $4,303 from CDWG and $3,471 from Dell.

— A computer purchase also was approved for $1,918 from Great Plains Computers & Networking. CDWG presented a bid of $2,130 and Dell $1,926.

— Consulting services for two years with Jack Chapelle of Engineering Solutions & Design were approved for $5,200. The consultant will assist with the monitoring of the former county landfill.

— A 20-minute executive session was called for personnel at the beginning of the commission meeting. When the meeting reconvened, there were no decisions.

— A 25-minute executive session was called for personnel between the commission and the executive board of Senior Citizens of Marion County, Inc. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— A 15-minute executive session was called for personnel between the commission, county department for elderly director Jayne Gottschalk, and some members of the executive board. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— Later in the afternoon, the commission called a 15-minute executive session to discuss personnel. No decisions were made when the meeting reconvened.

— A 10-minute executive session was called for personnel with Gottschalk with no decisions when the meeting reconvened. Another 10-minute executive session was called with Gottschalk which was extended another 10 minutes with Gottschalk leaving the meeting two minutes into that session.

When the meeting reconvened, there were no decisions.

The next commission meeting will be at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse.