|As I said in the first report, developer Mark Matlock
gets a lot of credit for originality, style and creativity. I'm refering
to Matlock's attempt to get his hands in the tax payer's pocket to
supplement his developments.
Matlock bailed out on the whole TIF, Tax Increment
Financing, that has become so unpopular with local officials and came up
with his very own plan he called ALF, Appraisal Levied Financing. Well,
looks like Matlock's ALF has hit a bit of a snag. It's not legal.
Matlock's ALF plan depended on upping the appraisals
on his strip mall along Hwy. 321. The city would then borrow five or six
hundred thousand dollars to give to Matlock and the city would get their
money back over the next twenty years from the higher appraisals. As
Matlock explained to the city council, if certain costs increase to his
property like taxes, insurance, garbage pick up, etc., those costs are
passed along to the tenants of the property.
According to a letter from Loudon County Property
Assessor, Chuck Jenkins, to Lenoir City mayor and council, Matlock's
proposal can not be implemented under current law. See letter below.
July 31, 2009
Dear Mayor and Council:
I have had several calls over the
past few days regarding a request by developer Mark
Matlock for an “ALF,” or “Appraisal Levied Financing.”
From my understanding, the proposal hinges on having the
subject properties reappraised for ad valorem taxation
After a review, we stand by our
recent property tax appraisals of Mr. Matlock's
properties. Using the market- and income-based
approaches to commercial valuations, for the two strip
centers, we have the land on at $650,000/per acre (the
highest rate we have for Highway 321) and the buildings
are on at adjusted-base-rates of $76/ft2 and
$81/ft2 respectively, resulting in a total
value of $5.9 million appraised ($2.3 million assessed,
at the 40% commercial assessment ratio). If we include
the Angelo’s Brick Oven property and an adjacent vacant
parcel, that brings the total to more than $7.1 million
appraised (or $2.8 million assessed).
If Mr. Matlock has a bank or fee appraisal that shows
something different, we would be glad to take a look at
it. But unless it can be shown that we have reached our
decision in error, we cannot simply change his
appraisal. (“Spot” reappraisals -- whether to increase
or decrease and whether at the taxpayer’s initiative or
our own -- are not allowable under any circumstances
that I am aware of.) Barring a correction of error, Mr.
Matlock does have the option of filing an appeal with
the County Board of
Equalization, but for 2009 that window of
opportunity has closed. The Board has adjourned for the
year and will reconvene next June.
To the broader question, even if
Mr. Matlock were correct in that he is under-appraised
and we were to increase his appraisals accordingly, the
resulting additional taxes would rightfully be owed to
the respective local governments of Lenoir City and
Loudon County. To my knowledge, there is no alternative
provision under state assessment law, but you may wish
to consult the state Comptroller, Division of Property
Assessments, or the state Attorney General’s office for
a more qualified opinion.
I hope this helps in your
deliberations, and please do not hesitate to call if you
have further questions.
Loudon County Property Assessor
cc: Shannon Littleton, City Attorney
Dale Hurst, City Manager
So, just like the fictional TV
character ALF, seems Matlock's ALF turns out to be only a fantasy too.
Back to the drawing board.