County Attorney Reports that BOA is not Obligated to Consider Contractor’s Billing

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Fannin County Attorney, Lynn Doss, attended a Board of Assessors (BOA) meeting today (Friday August 20) and told the board that they were not obligated to address an outstanding bill that was incurred prior to the formation of the board.

Board chairman, Lane Bishop, invited Mrs. Doss to attend the meeting because he wanted the public and the press to understand the board’s role in the matter. Bishop told those in attendance.

“I want it resolved today.”

The issue of the outstanding bill was created when the previous BOA (which was subsequently dissolved by a Board of Commissioners vote) sought legal counsel rather than utilize the services of the county attorney.

Doss said that the matter would be taken up within the next Board of Commissioners meeting.

In other BOA business:

The BOA reviewed and approved 120 applications for homestead exemptions (2 of which were filed in 2014, and the remainder of which were filed for 2015).

Chief Appraiser, Dawn Cochran, said that the number of appeal filings (which has grown since the new board was created) totaled 366. Thirty-two appeals were being transferred to the Board of Equalization for final approval.

The county’s Commercial Appraiser, Terry Thrasher, advised the board to set the appraisal rate for warehouse structures at $16.89 per square foot. The board later approved this amount.

Citizen Advocate Comments on BOA assessment of burned property

During the public comment period of the meeting, Suzanne Kahn (an interested citizen in attendance) noted a editorial written by a property owner and published by a local news paper (not FYN).

Ms. Kahn noted that the property had burned and felt that the BOA should reconsider their assessment in light of the fact that they property had burned ‘ to the ground’.

Ms. Cochran said that she could not exempt the property from taxation since state law forbids this practice. She said that she would call the homeowner and carefully explain why an exemption would not be possible.

Chairman Bishop expressed his disappointment in the fact that no exception or proration could be given saying:

“It’s just a sad situation. It really seems unfair to me, but we have to adhere to state law.”

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