By Dennis Simpson, March 8, 2020
Too much in taxes?
As a child, my parents reminded me often that “What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander.” It took me a while to learn what a Gander was, but the moral of the story was that if it applied to one, it applies to all.
Welcome to the Garland and Saline County Real Estate Tax system. I am pretty sure they are not aware of the Goose and Gander rule.
Exhibit A: Saline Co. Parcel Number: 001-13265-000
- Owner: Cooper Communities (I am NOT picking on them, this is just an exceptional example.)
- This 30.98-acre tract is listed as “commercial” by a local real estate company for Cooper. This property runs along Desoto to the west after you enter the east gates.
- Tax Status: Paid
- Tax Category: TIMBER (really?)
- Total Tax: $50.06 per year
- Assessed Value: $4,950
- Sales Listing Price: (approximately) $609,850
At this point, you might think I am picking on Cooper. Not a chance.
You see, I’m confident as soon as this property sells, Cooper WILL deed it and zone it as commercial. That’s what you get to do when you are the “Developer.” That is Cooper’s right. I do not begrudge CCI that.
The simple fact is the POA (you and I) pay taxes for the green space (common property) that Cooper set aside and deeded to the POA to make this place the gem it is today…again…great ideas…great design. We pay the property taxes on the green space as assessed by Saline and Garland Counties; These green spaces are also classified as timber.
Inconsistency in property tax assessments
I own several golf course lots (FOR SALE!) on Balboa Golf Course. Some of them are co-owned with a business partner.
Whatever you think of the clubhouse and area, It IS a stunning Golf Course with LOTS of room and great views.
My business partner and I own lots that are assessed (in Garland County) for $17,500 when the most recent sales were listed as $8,000.
Add to that, there have been only five or six sales (based on how you define a sale – between relatives, etc.) in the past decade.
My business partner and I have petitioned the Garland County Tax Equalization Board three times in the past three years. Each time we received only 11% reduction (or less) in assessed values while the Board admitted (in a court of law) that they did not have adequate numbers to support these assessments. The Equalization Board even went so far as to state that “if we changed yours (by state law), we’d have to change everyone’s.” DUH! That’s the point.
Meanwhile, in Saline County, they seem to have no problem at all in assessing golf course lots on Balboa at $8,000 all day long.
Are POA lots assessed correctly?
In conclusion, the POA has some 3,400 lots in inventory. Some if not all of these lots must CERTAINLY be “incorrectly” assessed.
We as a POA and as members and individuals should request that the POA go with us and protest our assessments EN MASSE to force them to fairly assess the entire Village. Mr. Frank Leeming has NUMEROUS times pointed out that the Village is a cash windfall to BOTH counties.
The only services received from tax dollars are for public schools
There are LITERALLY NO! SERVICES rendered from Saline and Garland County to the Village other than to educate the children. (Comparatively speaking, the Village has only 1/6th the number of children versus the national average.) To wit, the POA PAYS the salaries for our police who then, in turn, go outside the gates (FOR FREE) and assist the county authorities, but that is another post.
Lowering assessed values
I am sure there are those reading this that will argue that lowering the property tax assessments will decrease our property values.
Saying this is akin to saying that “I didn’t have cancer until the doctor told me I did.” In this example, you DID HAVE cancer, but you were unaware. IF your home/property has lost (or gained) value but has not been correctly reassessed, you are simply uninformed. It doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
I suggest that we adopt the Goose/Gander philosophy and let the chips fall where they may.
IF Garland or Saline Counties need more funding, so be it, but let’s do it under an accurate and fair property tax assessment in the clear light of day. I’d be surprised if accurate re-evaluations of property values didn’t result in the POA saving thousands of dollars in taxes each year.
By Dennis Simpson, March 8, 2020
Dennis’ Biography: A native Arkansasan from Bryant, Dennis is an IT Tech, security manager for the State of Arkansas, Vice President of HSV Technology Club, host of HSV Events TV show (Village Venues) and radio personality. He and his wife Diana, a CPA, are both Arkies and have lived in HSV for the last nine years.
Dennis has bought and sold over 250 properties in HSV over the last 20 years and he and Diana currently run three Airbnb’s and own or co-own 52 properties in HSV. They enjoy attending estate sales, participating in Boomers Rock events and hiking the trails in and around HSV with their pups. You can reach Dennis at [email protected]
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