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Treasurer sets up payment plan for back taxes

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 11:04 PM

IRONTON -- Lawrence County Treasurer Steve Burcham has collected or set up payment plans on more than $1.1 million in back taxes and will seek more than $960,000 in a tax sale next week.

Burcham told the Lawrence County Board of Commissioners on Thursday his office has collected or set up payment plans on $1,109,494 from 920 parcels. His office plans to offer for sale another 748 parcels at 10 a.m. Monday at the courthouse on which $961,679 is owed.

The parcels will be offered for sale to the public, and four companies have expressed interest in a bulk purchase of the remaining parcels, Burcham said.

Burcham also asked for the board to put $14,000 in his supplies account. He said budget cuts the commissioners imposed earlier in the 2013 budget allows him to have fewer than two full-time employees. He currently has four full-time employees and plans to hire two more part-time employees during tax collection time.

Tax bills will be sent out in about two weeks. The taxes are due March 8, Burcham said.

"I can't afford any layoffs," Burcham said. "I have to be able to operate. If I have less people it means longer lines and less people to answer phones."

The board also approved changes in the county's Emergency Medical Services ambulance district which could save $87,000 in salaries and more than $40,000 in benefits. The changes mean some supervisors will go on ambulance runs, said Buddy Fry, district administrator.

"We had four openings in September, and we didn't fill them in anticipation of 2013 budget cuts," Fry said.

The district received $1.3 million from the half-percent sales tax in 2011, and $1 million plus an additional appropriation of $155,000 last year, but was budgeted only $1 million this year, Fry said.

In other action, the board:

Accepted the resignation of Ashley Reeves and Randall Brannon as paramedics effective Dec. 28.

Recalled Benny Call as a part-time assistant dog warden effective Jan. 7.

Set the board's organizational meeting for 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14.

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