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Northampton approves appraisal contract

JACKSON – The Northampton County Tax Office will be getting some outside assistance thanks to a contract approved by the Board of Commissioners here during their regular meeting on May 6.

The contract, which is with Pearson’s Appraisal Service, was presented by the county’s Interim Tax Administrator, Kathy Butler. She explained the proposal to the commissioners, some of whom attended the meeting remotely via telephone due to COVID-19 distancing procedures.

“We usually have two appraisers in our office,” Butler said, explaining that one of those people had retired last year which left the other to cover a larger workload.

“It’s always very busy this time of year,” she continued.

She also stated that the tax office has worked with this company on several occasions since the 1990s, adding, “They’re very familiar with the county and very familiar with our processes.”

The contract with Pearson’s will provide four appraisers to help with things such as appraising new construction permits, abstract listings, and incomplete new construction permits from prior years. It covers a period from May to August, and the total cost is $17,500.

County Manager Charles Jackson pointed out that the funds would come from the budgeted salary of the vacant second appraiser position.

“Are there any plans to hire another person,” asked Commissioner Kelvin Edwards.

Butler answered they would not be seeking to fill the empty position at this time. She suggested the contract with Pearson’s could potentially be done yearly going forward, saving the county more money by not having to hire another full-time appraiser and then expend costs on training, transportation, and more.

“It’s important to get an appraiser who really knows what they’re doing,” agreed Board Chair Charles Tyner.

Commissioner Nicole Boone said she was glad to see the cost savings as well as a company familiar working with not only Northampton County, but several others in the area.

Edwards motioned to approve the contract and Boone provided the second. It passed with a unanimous vote.