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State error costs county

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By Damon Lawrence

Roane County is out some expected revenue due to a mistake made by the state.

Barry M. Murphy, director of the Comptroller of the Treasury Office of State Assessed Properties, told county officials in a letter last month that several Norfolk Southern properties had been overassessed due to a clerical error.

His letter said state law allowed the error to be corrected.

“Therefore, we hereby withdraw the previously certified assessments,” the letter said.

Roane County Executive Ron Woody said the state had the properties overassessed by about $2 million.

Murphy’s letter included a list of the re-certified assessments for the properties.

“This is authorization for you to make the foregoing changes to your tax roll, as well as correct computations for the 2012 taxes,” the letter said.

Woody estimated the loss for the county between $41,000-$43,000.

“That is a pretty big one, but we can handle that,” he said. “Now if we have a bunch of them, that’s a different story.”

When budgeting, Woody said the county uses a variance factor that takes into account revenue that
won’t come in due to people not paying their taxes and other adjustments.