S T. CLAIRSVILLE — The fee for property sales will increase next year as the Belmont County Board of County Commissioners intends to increase the county’s real property and manufactured home transfer tax to $3 per $1,000 of the price selling for $4 for $1,000.
The board scheduled two public hearings during its next meetings at 9 am on December 14 and December 21.
The board made the announcement Tuesday, during a weekly meeting that was rescheduled from the regular Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Commissioner Josh Meyer said the amount had not been collected since the 1970s. The Ohio Revised Code calls for a fee of $1, to be given to the state, with any additional taxes going to the county. The maximum is $4, with $3 going to Belmont County.
“It’s a state-mandated fee, and counties can add an extra $3,” Meyer said.
“If you are selling your property, you will pay the transfer fee: the person selling it will be”, Auditor Cindi Henry said. “It was $1.10 for every $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 tariff will enter into force in 2023.
“We have to do a breakdown of the report of how much we receive, how much is required, how much is ours, and submit it to the state annually.” she said.
In other business, the commissioners approved the purchase of a Dell PowerEdge Virtual Server for the auditor’s office, along with a Sonicwall Next Generation Firewall and accessories for the auditor’s office.
“We are replacing a server in the auditor’s office. It’s almost full to capacity right now.” Meyer said.
“My office urgently needs a server. We are on old software that requires a server. We can’t get our information into the cloud because the software is too old, so we’ve worked with Digital Date to start fixing this issue. Because we currently have three servers and all three cannot be updated or repaired and we ran out of space last year when we tried to transfer our books and had to download a lot of old data from one server to get to the new one. one, to be able to move our documents and secure them,” Henry said. “They are five years old and only have a four-year lifespan.”
Guests included Richard Hord from Martins Ferry who commented on the past week “devastating fire” at Wilson Furniture Store in Bridgeport and the damage to the 124-year-old business.
“It was a huge, huge fire down there, a long-standing business in the community, a well-known business.” Meyer responded. “Hopefully they can adjust and fix things. … It’s kind of unfortunate. Hopefully they can recover and continue to use that business.”
Hord also asked about the schedule for removing asbestos from the county housing center that is not being used as a prelude to tearing down the building. Meyer said asbestos abatement could start as early as next month. Meyer said he didn’t know if the work would continue through the holidays.
“We have changed our plans to put a records center there at this time,” Meyer said. “We will continue to evaluate things. …Hopefully early next year is when I think a demonstration of that building will take place.”
Another guest was Jim Morrison of Otto Road in Jacobsburg. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, he spoke about the progress of the water service to the various families that reside on the road.
“I wanted to thank everyone again for all the effort, time and money or just the thoughts,” Morrison said. “It has made a world of difference. … Enjoy holidays. I’m going to enjoy the water.”
The project was possible thanks to state funding. The Belomar Regional Council is doing the work.
The commissioners also accepted a $1,000 donation from the St. Clairsville American Legion to Belmont County Senior Services and thanked American Legion veterans.
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