County tax officials said proper procedure was followed when a home that sold for nearly $170,000 was valued at $46,281.
Resident Terry Peeler ran an advertisement in the Monday edition of the Lincoln Times-News questioning the valuation of a home owned by Bryan and Teresa Huitt.
The information in the ad was taken from the countyâ€™s GIS database and showed the Huittsâ€™ home along with its sale price, land value and total value. Printed next to the GIS information was the question â€œWHY?â€
Peeler said he wanted to know why the $169,205 home was valued so low, therefore requiring the Huitts to pay just $305 in property taxes.
He said he discovered the information after doing research for a court case between Bryan Huitt and himself.
Madge Huffman, the countyâ€™s tax administrator, said the reason for the value being lower than the sale price is attributed to the date the house was valued.
â€œWe are statutorily required to value (the home) at the point of construction it was at Jan. 1,â€ Huffman said.
The certificate of occupancy for the 1,730-square-foot house was not issued until March 10, according to Kelly Atkins, director of Building and Land Development.
And based on B&LD records, the insulation inspection was done on the home Dec. 14. That would have been the last inspection before the tax officeâ€™s.
Based on that, Atkins said it is safe to say the house was no more than half finished in mid-December.
And thatâ€™s why officials set the value so low.
â€œItâ€™s not uncommon to have that low of a value at Jan. 1 if the C.O. (certificate of occupancy) is not issued until sometime in March,â€ said Huffman.by Alice Smith