Board lowers Manville tax assessment

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; While Johns Manville representatives didn’t get all they wanted, supervisors on Monday did lower the county’s assessed value of the site of the company’s former Natchez plant, which closed three years ago.

Earlier this month, the company requested the property’s assessed value be lowered to $2,049,000 to reflect depreciation. Instead, Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins placed the value at $2,320,990, the current asking price for the building and land.

Previously, the county listed the site’s assessed value at $3.8 million.

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Similar tax requests the company made since the plant closed had been denied, &uot;but I had indications (Johns Manville) would sue&uot; the county if concessions weren’t made this year, Atkins said.

The decrease in assessed value will cost the county about $14,000 in tax revenues and cost the Natchez-Adams School District almost $11,500, according to the county’s figures.

In requesting the change at the Board of Supervisors’ Aug. 1 meeting, Ryan Bridges of Ryan & Co., the firm that represents Johns Manville in such matters, said an appraiser estimated the property’s value at $2.4 million two years ago.

At that time, it was also estimated it would take four years from that date to find a buyer for the building, by which time the property’s value would have depreciated to $1.7 million, he said. By that schedule, the facility should be worth only $2.049 million.

Later in the meeting, Supervisor Henry Watts asked that the board request that judges and Sheriff’s Office representatives sit down with supervisors to discuss what can be done to collect more than $1 million in outstanding fines owed to local courts. The motion was passed unanimously.

Also in Monday’s supervisors meeting:

4Supervisors, in a 3-2 vote, approved travel expenses for Supervisor Sammy Cauthen for a waterways conference in New Orleans and a meeting on the Okhissa Lake project in Meadville during Monday’s meeting,

4Supervisors voted 3-2 to direct the Road Department to construct a gravel road through the county’s Foster Mound Road property to an adjacent 911 tower site.

4Port Director Anthony Hauer gave supervisors a check from the Mississippi Department of Transportation reimbursing it for constructing a new wooden railroad crossing on Elgin’s Ferry Road near the port.

4County Engineer Jim Marlow told supervisors he will soon advertise for bids for bridge improvements on Tate Road, although no specific date was set at the meeting.

4Supervisors adopted amended tax rolls as recommended by Atkins.