Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Washington County Property Appraisals

The Washington County Assessor's Office determines the value of property every three years.

Most owners have by now received Notice of Change in Assessment letters and the majority of those letters indicate increased values, much like what occurred when reassessments were done in 2004. At that time, assessed values increased significantly over previous assessments, as they were brought more in line with market value at a time when the market was increasing at double-digit rates. Previously assessed values were much less than market value.

Here’s how it works. First the 2007 Appraised Value is determined. That amount is multiplied by 20% to determine 2007 Full Assessed. Then the 2007 Full Assessed is multiplied by the millage rate in effect where the property is located.

People usually get upset anytime they see their taxes increase and this year is no different. One of the most common complaints I hear is that property values have gone down – not up. But the important thing to remember is that the reappraisal compares property values in 2004 to 2007. I think it’s fair to say most property values in Washington County have increased in the past three years.

On the other hand, some of the new appraisals are clearly out of line, but it is an individual situation. For example, I have a client who purchased a new home last August for $165,000 and whose reassessment says it is now worth $175,000. According to market data I have analyzed (check my first quarter market report in the archives of this blog), prices decreased in the last quarter of 2006 in Washington County by about 14%. Although they began rising again in the first quarter of 2007, if my clients where to market their home now, they would be hard pressed to even get what they paid for it a year ago.

Here are two important statements which I took directly from the Notice of Change in Assessment:

“Assessments on properties serving as the principal place of residence for any taxpayer who is disabled or who is 65 years of age or older prior to Jan. 1, 2007, shall be assessed at a level no greater than the Previous Taxable Assessed plus the full assessed value on any modifications made to the property that were not previously assessed.”

“Assessments on properties serving as the principal place of residence for all other taxpayers shall be limited to a 5% increase over the Previous Taxable Assessed plus the full assessed value on any modifications made to the property that were not previously assessed. The 5% increase will occur yearly until the Full Assessed Value is reached.”

This limit extends so long as the property is not sold. The full appraised value kicks in once the property is sold to a new owner.
If you feel your property is unfairly assessed, call 479-587-1130 to speak with an appraiser at Arkansas CAMA Technology, Inc., the firm that performed the appraisals for Washington County.

If you wish to schedule a formal hearing with County Equalization Board, call the County Clerk’s office at 479-444-1711 no later than August 20, 2007.

Hearings will begin August 1, 2007 and if required, will continue through October 1, 2007.

One piece of good news – With 2007 taxes, which are due in October 2008, homeowners will receive up to $350.00 property tax credit on the property serving as their principal residence. This is an increase of $50 over 2006 taxes, which are due October 2007. If you have not previously applied for this credit, do so by calling the Washington County Assessor at 479-444-1500.

For more information:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It’s Difficult to Define “Dry” in Benton County

I was surprised to learn recently that yet another initiative is underway to change Benton County from dry to wet – wet meaning legal to sell alcohol in restaurants, taverns, and liquor stores.

Benton County has been dry for as long as I can remember. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sit down at a restaurant or hotel and order a cocktail. Far from it!

Private clubs can serve alcoholic beverages to their members and there are currently more than 100 “clubs” in Benton County doing just that.

It’s easy to become a private club. All that’s required is a small group of people getting together and declaring a common purpose for the club, such as researching where rainbows actually end. After a small amount of paperwork, it is then legal to serve alcohol to the club’s members.

When a customer enters the club (i.e. restaurant or hotel), he is asked to sign up for membership or sign in if he has previously joined. It’s that easy!

What is difficult is to change a county in Arkansas from dry to wet. The law requires 38% of all registered voters in the county to sign a petition before the question can be placed on the ballot. Each and every signature must be verified, which means several thousand additional signatures must be obtained to offset the inevitable invalid signatures. An initiative in 2006 failed to gather enough signatures in the time allotted.

Just imagine the Herculean effort it would take to obtain the signatures of 38% of voters (some 31,000 people), when many elections have less people than that show up to vote.

I wish the founders of the current petition initiative well. I think it’s ludicrous to allow drinking in so many “clubs” while anyone wanting to have a drink in his own home has to drive to a liquor outlet in another county (Washington) or even a neighboring state like just over the line in Missouri. It’s no accident that there are a whole bunch of liquor stores just across the state line north of Benton County doing a thriving business.

Why would Benton County want all the additional traffic on their already over-crowded roads as people cross over county or state lines to buy alcohol?

Why would Benton County want to continue losing sales tax revenue that those package sales produce?

Makes no sense to me. (Plus it’s totally hypocritical).

For more information:


Sunday, July 01, 2007

All Eyes on Springdale for 63rd Annual Rodeo of the Ozarks

You’ll probably want to experience the fun at Parsons Stadium in Springdale July 1-4 when the Rodeo of the Ozarks takes center stage to help celebrate our nation’s birthday!

From the “Mutton Bustin” competition for kids to bull riding for the toughest cowboys around, there are events for everyone to enjoy. More than $100,000 in prize money will be awarded in this Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sponsored event.

There will be food, parades July 1 and July 4, fireworks every night after the rodeo, Grand Entry each night at 7:30 p.m. and even Junior Grand Entries. A new Miss Rodeo of the Ozarks will be crowned July 4.

Parsons Stadium, named for founder Shorty Parsons who headed the group of originators back in 1944, is located at 1423 E. Emma Avenue in Springdale (corner of Highway 265 & Emma Avenue).

For more information: