By Ken Ross
The Cherokee County Board of Supervisors heard a request from Betty Woltman, mayor of Quimby, and Jack Foresman, board member of the Quimby Golf Course, requesting a permanent abatement of taxes for land leased by the city of Quimby to the Quimby Golf Course.
The request is not for abatement on the structures of the golf course. The annual tax on the land and structures totals about $9,300. The tax on just the land, the portion for which abatement is requested, amounts to $2,268, the largest part, about $1700, going to the city of Quimby.
Woltman explained that a request was approved in December of 2003 to abate taxes on the land and she had thought the matter was settled at that time but a bill for property tax was subsequently sent.
The Quimby Golf Course is incorporated as a for profit organization and therefore property leased to the organization is subject to property tax even if the organization leasing the land is a public entity or non-profit organization.
Bonnie Ebel, county auditor, pointed out that the county pays property tax on land that the county leases to farmers.
Woltman and Foresman said they will discuss with their attorney on possible ways to avoid taxable status on the property. Ron Wetherell, board chairman, said that the matter will also be discussed with the county assessor.
The supervisors and John Wibe, assistant county attorney, reviewed a model public nuisance ordinance prepared by SIMPCO. Wibe will look into possible redundancies in the proposed ordinance with already existing ordinances and state law.
The supervisors canvassed the result of votes at the three polling places in Cherokee County for the six cent per $1,000 property valuation levy for equipment purchases for Western Iowa Tech Community College. The vote on the levy passed overall throughout the WITCC area, but the no vote was higher than the yes vote at each of the polling places in Cherokee County. All of Cherokee County is in the WITCC service area except that part that is in the Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn School District.
There were 227 no votes and 151 yes votes in Cherokee County. About half of one percent of the eligible voters in the county voted in the election. The election will cost the county over $3,300.