Taxing Rocks

While the mining operations around Weeping Water have earned the community the title of Limestone Capital of the World, those involved in assessing the tax valuation of the operations think there should be more tax dollars earned for local coffers too.

The Cassgram reports that Cass County assessed over $9 million for mineral interests on 20 properties in 2007 and did so again in 2008.

A mineral interest appraiser from Nevada had been hired to conduct the assessment. If all taxes on those assessments had been paid, it would have amounted to about $200,000 in tax receipts each year.

Some of the taxes were paid, said County Assessor Allen Sutcliffe, but as expected protests were filed by the larger operations, including Martin Marrietta and Kerford/Constructors Inc.

The county believes state law is clear in allowing the taxation. "We think we’ve done a proper job in assessing the properties," said Cass County Attorney Nathan Cox.

While other counties have shown an interest in the outcome, said Sutcliffe, Cass County stands alone in taking the case to the state level because of its unique underground operations.

Sutcliffe is hoping the TERC ruling will be handed down within a couple of weeks.

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