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BENTONVILLE -- Benton County on Tuesday set the tax rates to be collected in 2018 in an ordinance setting out the millage levied by cities, school districts, the county and other taxing entities.

The Quorum Court approved the ordinance unanimously after justices of the peace Brent Meyers and Tom Allen asked if the tax rates had been verified.

"I just wanted to be sure they've all been examined and we don't have the situation we had last year," Allen said.

An ordinance setting the property tax rates is approved by the Quorum Court every year under state law. The taxing entities are required to submit tax rates to the County Clerk's Office for inclusion. Earlier this year it was found Cave Springs hadn't properly set the city's tax rates in 2016 and the city was ordered to refund the money collected.

County Clerk Tena O'Brien was contacted by someone in March who tipped her off Cave Springs hadn't adopted a millage for 2017 as required by law, according to filings in Benton County Court.

Cave Springs failed to submit the correct millage for 2017 and instead turned in a copy of the city's millage resolution for 2016. The only difference between the two was a handwritten resolution number.

Treasurer Deanna Ratcliffe, Collector Gloria Peterson and County Clerk Tena O'Brien asked for the County Court to decide whether the city properly adopted the millage and the amount, to determine what they should do with revenue collected and to dismiss them from any liability to the city. County Judge Barry Moehring presides over county court in his role as county judge.

The county sent the city $10,907 in 2016 payments before the discrepancy was found and then held tax receipts. Officials estimated the city would refund about $242,000 in taxes collected through July.

The justices of the peace also heard the second reading of an ordinance amending the employment policy. The ordinance will be on its third and final reading at the Quorum Court meeting in December.

The justices of the peace also approved the Highway 94 East Fire Department spending $15,000 in grant money for a fire-rescue boat for the department.

NW News on 11/15/2017

Print Headline: County officials OK property tax rates

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