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It grieves me to say this

Last week I got a letter from our Benton County Assessor, Roderick Grieve, to inform me, and I'm assuming many other taxpayers, that our auto personal property tax evaluations were all wrong. According to Mr. Grieve, the state is responsible for this and the state uses a "national vendor" to supply those values. Mr. Grieve goes on to say the vendor provided bad information on 2019 evaluations. Consequently, I've been advised the tax on my car has gone up about 30 percent. Heaven help us if this bunch also does motorcycles.

I have several issues with this. First off, when the state government -- any state government -- cedes their responsibilities to vendors then somehow or another taxpayers always seem to suffer. I could ask several questions about these "figures" -- particularly from a "national" vendor.

Are the valuations calculated for state and area? Because obviously the value of my Camry would vary whether I live in Wichita, Tulsa or Kansas City.

Is there any sort of guidelines in place to protect taxpayers from mistakes that significantly affect the value's stated, and of course; what about depreciation?

Per the letter -- and thank you very much Mr. Grieve -- I can do the math myself, my rate went up about 30 percent. Now I know that's not much but appreciating my understanding is somewhat overstating the county's position.

I don't appreciate it. If this is their mistake and not mine then why am I paying for it?

Perhaps there should be a rule that says adjustments over a certain percentage will be done incrementally. In this way depreciation of the asset should also figure into it. But no, we're supposed to just say, oh well and pay the additional tax next year. I don't think so. What I do think is that this is something I'll remember next election.

As to the hearing option, I don't like going to Bentonville or talking to county government when I have to. But if you also got the letter, I encourage you to do it, and you might mention at the time that I'm not happy.

Again, we appreciate your understanding -- seriously? I think it may be another sneaky way to justify an increase. Tell me I'm wrong!

Charles R. Foreman Jr.

Siloam Springs

Editorial on 09/18/2019

Print Headline: Letter to the Editor

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