By Nick Worth
Navajo County Assessor Cammy Darris now has the authority to negotiate and settle small claims tax appeals that are filed in the Arizona Tax Court.
The Navajo County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday to give the assessor those powers after Deputy County Attorney Jason Moore told the board the resolution would allow the assessor to settle the tax claims that arise, usually on properties valuated at less than $2 million.
“In most cases there is less than $200 at stake,” Moore told the board. “These are mostly residential homes.”
Darris said the typical small claims tax figures would be in the $200 to $650 range.
Moore said a statute existed requiring the county board to hear and settle the tax court cases.
He further noted that tax disputes can be addressed either through the tax court in Maricopa County or administratively, through the board of supervisors, or both.
“If this resolution is not passed, every small claims case could be put on the agenda,” said Moore. “You would have to go into executive session to determine each case, then each would have to be put back on the agenda to vote on it. It doesn’t make any sense.”
He said the resolution before the board would allow Darris to negotiate and settle the small claims cases in question.
Supervisor Sylvia Allen asked Darris what constituted small claims.
“One hundred thousand to $200,000 homes, mostly,” said Darris. “Homes up to $500,000 to $600,000 in valuation.”
The board approved the resolution unanimously.
In other action April 9, the board:
* Heard from Terry Hill, Adjutant for VFW Post 9907, who told the board that on April 7 the post celebrated its 45th anniversary. He said over the past year the post has performed over 11,000 hours of community service. He invited the supervisors to attend a celebration dinner on April 27.
County Attorney Brad Carlyon said VFW Post 9907 is extremely active in the South County, where it sponsors Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops. He said the post has also expressed an interest in providing mentors in connection with the proposed Veteran’s Court.
* Approved the renewal of the delegation agreement with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
Supervior Allen questioned part of the agreement that removed authority for compliance inspections and gives that authority to Navajo County instead of ADEQ.
Trent Larson explained that if ADEQ finds local authority sufficient, the county still has to give 30 days written notice before taking action.
* Approved the application for Treasurer’s Deeds for the State of Arizona.
* Gave authorization to reissue two stale dated checks.
* Named an existing road in the Aripine area “Cedar Creek Drive.”
* Named an existing road in the Aripine area “Maplewood Lane.”
* Approved an intergovernmental agreement between the Arizona State Forestry Division and the Board of Supervisors regarding environmental program assistance.
* Approved Arizona State Forestry Division grant amendment No. 1.
* Recognized Melanie D’Angelo, Catrina Roe, Katy Chee and Vicky Solomon for their excellence in personal performance far exceeding organization expectations.
* Approved personnel actions.
* Heard a presentation of a new drug education initiative titled “Navajo County Drug Stories” by Carlyon.
He introduced the board members to the navajocountydrugstories.com website and Facebook page, and highlighted the resources available on the site.
* Adopted a resolution to enter into an amended intergovernmental agreement with the Arizona Department of Transportation for the Chevelon Creek Bridge rehabilitation project.
* Approved the expenditure of an amount not to exceed $65,000 from District IV Special Road Funds to chip seal Black Canyon Road in Heber.
* Awarded a contract for supply and delivery of roadway materials to the Navajo Nation to Dyna Rock and Sand, Inc.
* Heard a report from Supervisor Allen on the proposed Mexican Wolf reintroduction.
She told the board the current plan, which called for the wolves to be reintroduced as far north as Utah, was withdrawn, but the reintroduction program is still continuing to move forward.
By Nick Worth