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Commission OKs new appraisers, tethering rules

Xavier Smith • Mar 20, 2017 at 8:39 PM

The Wilson County Commission agreed to add two new field appraisers for the Wilson County Property Assessor’s office, as well as new language regarding tethering of animals during Monday’s monthly meeting.

Wilson County Property Assessor Stephen Goodall presented his case for the new employees earlier this month and said hiring two new field appraisers would allow the department to better serve taxpayers and generate more tax money that is being delayed due to the department being understaffed and having a backlog of new construction.

“One employee can generate substantial amount of tax dollars for Wilson County. With the amount of new construction in Wilson County, it would support two new field employees,” he said.

Goodall said one field appraiser could do about 150 construction homes a week and would cost $36,682 annually for salary. He said with an average of 780 new construction homes annually that are not on the department’s records, the employee could bring about $1.3 million to the county.

Goodall said the problem exists because the department doesn’t draw and keep record of homes until they’re completed. Depending on when the appraisers review certain areas, several homes could be completed and homeowners would not pay taxes on the home for months, according to Goodall.

“We have to review the whole county and by the time we came back to those houses to review them, it may be February or March and, in some cases, you would have a home that had been finished, built and people living in there basically a year with just paying property taxes on the land only. I found 41 homes from 2015 like this, and 600 from 2016,” Goodall said.

The group also approved standards and requirements for tethering and proper shelter for dogs in the county.

According to the resolution, owners must ensure dogs: do not suffer from a condition this is known to be exacerbated by tethering; are tethered in a manner that will prevent tangling with other dogs; are tethered with a properly fitted harness or collar other than the lead, chain a pinch, prong or choke-type collar; have access to water, shelter and dry ground at all times and has access to adequate food; and other guidelines relative to tethering lengths.

The resolution also sets standards for dog shelters and procedures for when weather drops below 45 degrees.

The group also approved several budget amendments for Wilson County Schools, Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, Wilson County Trustee’s Office and Wilson County Emergency Management Agency. 

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