Revenue Commissioner Karen Roper presented the annual report to the Calhoun County Commission Thursday stating the unpaid amount of personal property ad valorem taxes is down by roughly 66 percent. The amount of unpaid taxes for the most recent tax year, 2011, was $55,091. In 2010 the amount of unpaid personal property ad valorem tax totaled more than twice that, or $151,156.
Calhoun County Administrator Ken Joiner said the drop could be a sign of economic improvement for the county, which was unable to meet its projected revenue last year for the first time in his 35-year tenure. The county also had to cut departmental spending by 2 percent for the current fiscal year because of the revenue shortfall, Joiner said.
“Hopefully we’re looking at something of an improvement in recovery,” Joiner said.
The unpaid taxes were not for buildings but for the items those buildings contain that are essential for their operations, according to officials with the revenue commissioner’s office.
While the amount of unpaid taxes is significantly down, the number of businesses that failed to pay taxes has not fallen as sharply.
In 2011, 168 businesses failed to pay the tax. In 2010, 197 Calhoun County businesses failed to pay the tax.
In that time the number of businesses that pay personal property taxes also fell. In 2011 4,843 businesses paid personal property taxes. In 2010, 4,956 businesses paid personal property taxes in Calhoun County.
The numbers indicate that the revenue commissioner’s office collected taxes from 113 fewer businesses in 2011 than in 2010.
The report from Roper’s office states that if there were no unpaid personal property taxes for Calhoun County businesses, the county’s general fund would be $7,917.78 richer, its road and bridge fund would have $3,654.36 more, the county’s special school fund would contain $6,699.66 and the fire district fund would include $3,654.36 more.
The unpaid taxes also prevented money from entering state coffers. According to the report, unpaid taxes from Calhoun County cost the state $3,045.30 in general fund money, it cost the state’s special soldier fund $1,218.12 and it will keep $3,654.36 from the state’s special school fund.
The report also states that the county received $87,669.96 in 2011 for taxes that were unpaid in previous years.
In other business, the commission:
• Dismissed a nuisance abatement at 5541 Saks Road near Anniston.
• Approved nuisance abatements at 70 Warrior Circle, Ohatchee and at a property on Grayton Road, Ohatchee.
• Issued nuisance invoices 309 Andrew Ave., for $6,747.80 and for 929 Alexandria Road, Weaver for $1,947.80
• Issued nuisance declarations at 303 Dogwood Ave., Anniston; 4521 Old Birmingham Highway, Anniston; 1001 Patterson St., Anniston; 133 Glade Road, Anniston.
• Opened bids for a jail food contact, for the purchase of a hydraulic dump recycling trailer and for the purchase of a mesh trailer.
• Extended the janitorial contract with Rite Way Services Inc., for the Calhoun County Highway Department Complex in the amount of $947.60 per month.
• Ratified a resolution in opposition of land leases in the Talladega National Forest for gas drilling.
• Passed surplus property resolutions for the Calhoun County Highway Department and for the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency.
• Approved employment contract extensions for Calhoun County Engineer Brian Rosenbalm and Assistant Calhoun County Engineer Michael J. Hosch.
Rosenbalm’s contract extension is for a period of five years and includes an annual cost-of-living increase of 3.5 percent. Rosenbalm’s starting salary is $133,000. Hosch’s contract is for a period of three years and includes a 2.5 percent annual cost-of-living increase. His starting salary is $86,383.
• Entered into a 2011-12 Host Agency Agreement for $250 per quarter for an assigned aide who will serve as a secretary for a county department.
• Approved a lease agreement with attorney Jason Odom for legal services in exchange for the use of a building at 110 East 15th St., Anniston.
• Approved a resolution for the chamber of commerce to provide 2012 funding in the amount of $2,000.
• Approved a revised Calhoun County Commission chairmanship rotation, naming Calhoun County Commissioner J.D. Hess to the chairmanship in keeping with the rotation schedule.