Tax payments change in Hertford Co.

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 7, 2005

WINTON – Pay now not later.

During the Hertford County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, the Commissioners discussed a request by county tax collector Wilda Liverman.

Liverman requested permission to take &uot;only full payments of taxes and attorney’s fees and costs once a foreclosure complaint had been filed in the Clerk of Court office.&uot;

Liverman explained, &uot;in the past the Clerk of Court’s office has allowed the taxpayer to make a partial payment, paying just the taxes and come back at a later date to pay the attorney’s fees and costs prior to the sale.&uot;

She continued, &uot;however, we have taken a partial payment of the taxes from the taxpayer and they never came back to pay the attorney’s fees and the property was sold with just the attorney’s fees and costs paid by the county.&uot;

Liverman suggested &uot;the taxpayer pay all of the taxes and fees in order to have the foreclosure case dismissed.&uot;

The Commissioners questioned Liverman about how much notice taxpayers are given before this process takes place. Livererman assured the Commissioners that taxpayers are notified several times before the foreclosure complaint is filed.

The Commissioners agreed with the recommendation and unanimously approved Liverman’s proposal.

The Commissioners also discussed and approved offers to buy two separate pieces of real estate owned by the county.

A lease agreement concerning the offices for the District Attorney was the next item on the board’s agenda.

John Ed Whitehurst, interim county manager, presented a new lease to the Commissioners from the owner of the building where the District Attorney’s office is now located.

The county pays $2060 a month on the current two-year lease agreement. The owner of the building is asking for a five-year lease and $515 a month increase in rent that would total $2575 a month.

However, according to Whitehurst, &uot;the owner of the building is willing to accept a two-year lease and $2200 a month.&uot;

Whitehurst stated, &uot;this increase is too much and the board should not accept this increase.&uot;

Chairman Dupont Davis added that he felt $2575 seemed high, but asked Whitehurst &uot;what option do we really have for the District Attorney’s office?&uot;

The board approved the new two-year lease at $2200 a month, although Whitehurst contended that figure was still &uot;too much&uot;.

The board also discussed the appointment of an alternate to the Mid-East Commission. An acceptable quorum was not possible during several Mid-East Commission meetings because not enough members of the commission were present.

In a written statement to the board, Mid-East Commission Executive Director Tim Ware asked &uot;in an effort to establish a more representative and productive monthly meeting we are asking that you appoint an alternate for your community.&uot;

Lynn Johnson, who had made an earlier request to be appointed as an alternate to the Mid-East Commission, was approved in that capacity by the board.

The board also discussed the possible extension of water distribution lines to serve some rural water users in the Hertford County Northern Rural Water District. The United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development approved a $1.2 million loan to the Hertford County Northern Rural Water District in April 2004 to help provide this extension.

However, Whitehurst informed the board there had been no increase in customers in the northern district even after the county gave potential customers a chance to ask for this service.

&uot;The area would need a much larger increase in customers to make this project feasible,&uot; Whitehurst said.

Due to this evidence and other economic issues, the board decided not to approve the loan from the USDA/RD at this time.

Following the completion of items listed on the meeting agenda, the board went into closed session to discuss county personnel decisions.