County considers higher building permit fines
by Michele Longworth
Sep 18, 2013 | 1205 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Changes could be coming for Massac County’s building permit ordinance, which was a topic of conversation between the commissioners and Massac County Supervisor of Assessments Gary Hamm during Tuesday morning’s weekly meeting.

Hamm brought to the board a packet of information concerning the taxing cycle and the overview of the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law. Hamm also discussed with the board the possibility of changing the existing wording in the county’s building permit ordinance in order to increase the fine from $250.

Hamm told the commissioners if the fine were higher, people may be more inclined to comply with the ordinance. He noted there are about 50 parcel numbers not in compliance with the ordinance.

He said his office is the “enforcer” of the ordinance, and it becomes a fairness issue because if John Doe does not fill out a building permit on new construction, then the tax burden ends up being paid by other taxpayers.

Another problem is when people say they are going to construct a garage, which ends up becoming a 30 x 50 foot pole barn.

Hamm said that with the county’s flyover coming this fall, his office would be able to take the new aerial imagery and overlay it on the old imagery to determine if property owners have added buildings on their property.

The commissioners and Hamm agreed if changes are made, Hamm should publicize them in the ordinance with a notice in the Metropolis Planet. Hamm suggested to the board if the ordinance is revised, the new ordinance should be effective Jan. 1, which would allow taxpayers who have not filled out a building permit to come to the Supervisor of Assessment’s office to fill out the permit information without being fined. The commissioners were agreeable to that suggestion; however no action was taken.

Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac reported the highway department’s oil and chipping should conclude later this week. He also told the commissioners that for the next couple of weeks he would not be at the board meeting as he will be attending schooling in Springfield in order to become certified to be a project manager for bridge inspections; otherwise, the county would have to hire out bridge inspections, which would become costly. He said the next bridge inspection is due next January.

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