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by Patty Cheffey
New contracts to collect property tax for both Hannibal and Palmyra would include an increase in fees.
County Collector Donna Goodin reported on the need for new contracts at Monday’s Marion County Commission, at which the commissioners also discussed a pay raise in one office, insurance repair to the Hannibal Courthouse roof and discussed a lock change at the Palmyra Courthouse.
Goodin noted it had been several years since the current contracts were drawn up and at this time, no one who had signed those contracts are even in office right now.
She presented information on both Monroe and Ralls counties’ contracts, and said she would like to add 2 percent on top of the current 3.2 percent she currently collects from the cities.
Of that amount, 1.5 percent would go to General Revenue with the remainder going to her office.
If approved, Goodin said she would like that additional amount collected for the collector’s office to go to the employees of that office, who do the work for the tax collection and tax sales, rather than to her.
Larry Welch, Eastern District commissioner, said he was unsure that would work, but noted Goodin could personally give the money to them.
Goodin also asked that a couple of her employees be moved up on the salary scale, but both Welch and Steve Begley, Western District commissioner, said salaries are set at the first of the year and they have never increased a salary in the middle of the year.
Goodin indicated the former collector had requested a mid-year increase for an employee and had received it.
She also noted she had the money in her budget to pay for the pay increases.
In an unrelated matter, Goodin asked the commissioners to ask SB 190 to go to a vote of the people if it is signed into law by the governor.
The bill which has two parts, including one which in essence creates a tax-freeze for senior citizens, is what concerns Goodin, who noted there is not enough information or guidance included in the bill for the collectors to understand how the process would work.
The second part of the bill deals with not charging income tax on Social Security for senior citizens.
In her report, Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, said she had been asked by Welch to get additional information from a contractor who said there is extensive hail damage to the roof of the Hannibal Courthouse.
The individual asked for a copy of the county’s insurance policy to see what might be covered to pay for the damage.
Commissioners agreed to have Stice continue to work on the situation and get a quote for repair work.
Stice also reported she had been approached by Russell Schleiermacher with University Extension about changing the locks to their offices after learning a number of keys have not been returned in the past.
Begley questioned why this should be the county’s responsibility and suggested Schleiermacher contact the Extension Council.
Upon the recommendation of the commissioners, Schleiermacher said he would also get some costs for new locks.
In a related matter, Welch said he plans to get some estimates on replacing doors, and therefore locks, on the exterior doors at the courthouses.