ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Property sales fees will be increased next year, as the Belmont County Board of Commissioners plans to raise the county’s real estate and manufactured home tax by $3 per $1,000 from the selling price to $4 per $1,000.
Council has scheduled two public hearings at its next meetings at 9 a.m. on December 14 and 21.
The board made the announcement Tuesday, at a weekly meeting that was postponed from the normal Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Commissioner Josh Meyer said the amount has not been increased since the 1970s. Ohio’s revised code imposes a $1 fee, payable to the state, with any additional tax going to the county. The maximum is $4, including $3 for Belmont County.
“It’s a state-imposed tax, and counties can add an additional $3,” Meyer said.
“If you sell your property, you are going to pay the transportation costs – the person who sells it will be”, said auditor Cindi Henry. “It was $1.10 for $1,000 from 1968 to 1972. In 1972 they increased it from $1 to $3.
Henry said the fee normally brings in around $200,000 a year. The new fee will come into effect in 2023.
“We need to break down the report on how much we cash in, the mandatory amount, ours and send it to the state every year,” she says.
In addition, the Commissioners approved the purchase of a Dell PowerEdge virtual server for the auditor’s office, as well as a Sonicwall next-generation firewall and accessories for the auditor’s office.
“We are replacing a server in the auditor’s office. It’s pretty much filled to capacity right now,” Meyer said.
“My office is in desperate need of a server. We’re on old software that requires a server. We can’t move our information to the cloud because the software is too old. So we worked with Digital Date to start resolving this problem.Because we currently have three servers and all three can’t be updated or fixed and we ran out of room last year when we tried to roll our books and had to dump a lot of old information from the single server to access the new one, to be able to move our documents and secure them”, said Henry. “They’re five years old and they only have a four-year lifespan.”
Guests included Richard Hord of Martins Ferry, who commented last week “devastating fire” to the Wilson furniture store in Bridgeport and the damage done to the 124-year-old business.
“It was a huge, huge fire there, a long-standing business in the community, a well-known business,” mayer replied “Hopefully it can adapt and get things taken care of. … It’s an unfortunate thing. Hopefully they can get over it and continue to use this activity.
Hord also asked about the timeline for removing asbestos from the unused county housing center in preparation for the building’s demolition. Meyer said asbestos abatement could begin next month. Meyer said he doesn’t know if work will continue over the holidays.
“We have changed our plans not to set up an archive center there for the time being”, Meyer said. “We will continue to assess things. … Hopefully it’s early next year when I think this building will be demonstrated.
Another guest was Jim Morrison of Otto Road in Jacobsburg. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, he spoke about the progress of water service to several families residing down the road.
“I wanted to thank everyone again for all the effort, time and money or just the thoughts,” said Morrison. “It made all the difference. …enjoy the holidays. I will enjoy the water.
The project was made possible by state funding. The Belomar Regional Council is doing the job.
Commissioners also accepted a $1,000 donation from the American Legion of St. Clairsville to Belmont County Senior Services and thanked American Legion veterans.