Marked Tree Council meets to correct millage error

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Due to an error with a decimal place, the wrong millage amount was collected from Marked Tree citizens over a four-year period. The Marked Tree City Council met for a special meeting Monday night to take action on the issue.

According to a court filing dated Dec. 31, 2015, presented to the council Monday night, the city's millage rate prior to 2012 had been 1.8 mills for the city general tax and 0.4 mills for the fireman's retirement and pension fund, for a total of 2.2 mills. The millage rate was increased to 3.4 mills in 2012 (3 mills for city general and 0.4 for fireman's r&p). But when the city passed Resolution No. 411, an extra zero got in, and the millage rate was listed as 3.04 (3 mills for city general and 0.04 mills for fireman's r&p). The city passed millage resolutions containing this incorrect amount for four years, but the Quorum Court's ordinances those years listed the correct amount of 3.4 mills.

The error was eventually caught by the county clerk's office but had persisted from 2012-2015, resulting in the wrong millage amount being collected for four years.

The court filing states that the city now owes the county $24,331.63, which was collected over the correct amount after property owners were billed 0.36 mills more than were legally collectable between 2012-2015.

The council voted 6-2, with Aldermen Cleo Johnson and Mack Rhoads voting against, to authorize a check be written to pay the county back. According to the court filing, the county will hold the funds "in trust for repayment to those who come forward to collect within a certain time."

City Clerk Pam Wright told the council she felt citizens should not have to call the county to make a claim and said she would see if it's possible if they can be credited back what is owed them.

In other business, the council adopted a resolution extending the millage rate of 3.4 mills upon the tax books, hired Terry Aikens as a police officer, and received a copy of an amended personnel policy handbook.

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