Tate/Lyle Wins?

In the near future, you will be hearing a lot more about this. But for now, I'll try to give you the short version of what happened and what it means fro the tax payers of Loudon County and the city of Loudon.

Several years ago, corn syrup maker, Tate/Lyle, determined that their tax assessments were to high and they were paying too much property taxes to Loudon and the county. Tate/Lyle is located in the city of Loudon and thus pay both county and city taxes.

Over the last four or five years, Tate/Lyle has pled their case through several levels of the legal system in an effort to have their taxes lowered. While the county and city had prevailed in previous legal actions, last Friday, an administrative law judge with the State Board Of Equalization ruled that Tate/Lyle's tax assessments were too high and ordered the city and county to rescind the previous assessments for the years of 2011 and 2012.

What does all that mean to you and me? Bad news.

If the judges decision stands, the county could ultimately have to repay Tate/Lyle 1.4 million dollars and Loudon would have to repay about $900,000.00. Plus property tax revenues from Tate/Lyle going forward will be greatly reduced meaning the loss would have to be made up by all other property tax payers. And yes, that does mean the possibility of a property tax hike on everyone to make up the loss from Tate/Lyle.

The county and the city have thirty days to appeal the judges decision from the time of the order was entered. County commissioners will hear a presentation from Loudon County Property Assessor, Mike Campbell, at this Monday's commission meeting to hear possible options.

It is unfortunate that a multibillion dollar cooperation like Tate/Lyle would work this hard not to pay their share of taxes to the local jurisdictions. This should be a strong lesson to all local governments. Be careful when you put too many of your eggs in one basket.