Airport complex value slashed in half

Commissioners have 30 days to accept offer.
Scott Seitz2
Jul 23, 2014

The Huron County commissioners will take some time to review the new property valuation recommended by the board of revision Monday involving the office complex at the airport.

The board of revision, which consists of Auditor Roland Tkach, Treasurer Kathleen Schaffer and Commissioner Tom Dunlap recommended the new value of $208,800. Dunlap did not vote on the recommendation because the commissioners own the complex.

The former value was $410,000.

The county commissioners have 30 days to accept or reject the new value. If they reject it, a formal hearing on the property will be scheduled before the board of revision.

The commissioners, along with members of the airport authority board discussed the new value at Tuesday's commissioners' meeting.

The airport board had recently hired its own outside appraiser who submitted a value of $75,000 on the complex or $90,000 counting the surrounding 5 acres.

The commissioners did not make a decision about the recommended value Tuesday.

"The airport board wanted to discuss some particulars with Roland," Dunlap said. "They thought the appraisal was still too high."

Dunlap said he was a bit shocked the airport board members still thought the new value was too high.

He had said after Monday's board of revision meeting he was OK with the recommended value.

"I will definitely take their input into consideration," Dunlap said. "They are the ones out there doing the business. I might have to re-evaluate what I originally said. This is definitely still a work in progress."

Dunlap said if the commissioners end up rejecting the new value and it goes to a formal hearing before the board of revision, the commissioners will likely appoint an interim board of revision member to replace him for that hearing.

"It needs a third vote there and I can't be the one to do it," he said.

Comments

propman

There is a lot of difference between the two appraisals so before the commissioners accept this one it needs to be explained what those differences are.
Also why the commissioners had allowed the exceedingly high valuation to exist in the first place.

da wind

propman what do the Commissioners currently pay in taxes on property?

propman

The taxes are currently $6,780 per year.
The real question is why a publicly owned facility is being taxed at all.
Do they pay property taxes on the court house, jail, roads and bridges?

Contango

Re: "publicly owned facility is being taxed at all."

It's obviously being operated as a for profit entity.

To my knowledge, only not-for-profits can get away with non-payment of property taxes.

propman

Funds from the rent and any other means on the airport are to be used to help run the airport, THERE IS NO PROFIT!!!

Contango

Re: "THERE IS NO PROFIT!!!"

It's a tax law distinction.

Every business, even NFPs MUST earn a profit (income - expenses = net profit) or it goes out of business.

Churches, fraternal orgs., and many hospitals operate as not-for-profits and do not pay property taxes.

Windy

The airport is NOT a business. The airport is part of the local infrastructure, a TOOL that is available to help ALL of the local businesses.

Ralph Wiggum

The FAA demands the airport be run like a business when they require it to be run as "self sufficiently as possible". The airport must make a profit to pay the bills to be self sufficient. Making a profit removes tax protections.

IndependentThinker

Ralph,
You clearly do not understand accounting. Profit is what is left over after all operating expenses are paid. The real estate taxes are an operating expense. In this case, the airport makes little or no profit overall.

Contango

Re: "no profit,"

And if it make "no profit" it asks for a grant, loan, an increase in fees or it goes broke.

monroe379

The term "As self sufficient as possible" doesn't mean they expect a profit.

Contango

Re: "The airport is NOT a business."

You're uselessly arguing semantics and tax law definition.

If it pays property taxes it's NOT a NFP.

zonedin

The commissioners own the building downtown occupied by the antique stores. Does that renter pay the property taxes on the building, or is the airport, a not for profit entity, owned by the county, being singled out.

lugnut2511

They way it's ran, it will be worth less next year.. Seriously need to be thinking on selling it to someone who is very interested in buying it..

Windy

The FAA will NOT allow the airport to be sold, only relocated.

DaMob

Screw the FAA. Sell this place. Its a loser. You self centered blow hards need to let go and do what is best for this county, not what is best for you, I mean all six of you that use that place.

propman

The IRS wishes it had the power the FAA does.

IndependentThinker

MobMan, there are many more than 6 who use the airport. It cannot be sold without FAA approval which they are not going to give. Saying "screw the FAA" does not put them in a mood to give an closure approvals.

monroe379

When you make foolish statements you do nothing but show the readers you have no credibility or knowledge, and are the real blow hard.

scooter58

Ok. How about, relocate the airport and sell THIS property! Considering the significant difference in valuations, the obvious value to adjoinging property owners (who may wish to actually buy THIS property), and the public commentary, the simple statement of "sell it" is short. sweet, and to the point. Deal with the technicalities and make/save some money for county taxpayers. Me thinks there is sentimental or egotistical value being attached that is getting in the way of a solution.

zonedin

Scooter - Relocating has to first be approved by the FAA. The faa doesn't relocate and build new airports just because someone wants to expand a business and buy old airport property, and especially the adjacent business owner. It won't happen. For the sake of conversation, if they did, you are talking about 20-40 million dollars for a new airport. The county would have to come up with 10% of the costs. The old airport couldn't be closed or sold until the new airport was completed. That means 2-4 million of local tax payer money. This group of misfits refuses to fund and maintain their current airport. How are they going to fund and maintain a new airport. Can you say the words "PIPE DREAM". the airport is not going anyplace, and if Bill can't accept that he either needs to change his plans or MOVE. My vote Bill is move!! I'm tired of all the fighting, back door politicking, and his whining!!

tmann4664

If the current airport is valued at 208,000... Then why would it cost 20 to 40 million to build another? something don't jive here..

Windy

ONE of the BUILDINGS was appraised for that, NOT the WHOLE airport. An independent appraiser valued that same building at $70,000.

Think about it . . . it may cost about $75,000 to purchase a 50-year-old home and about $150,000 to build a new one just like it somewhere else. It always costs more to build something new, especially when government regulations are involved.

tmann4664

I understand.. I'm a Facilites Director in my profession.I'm in charge of over 900 million dollars worth of buildings. Noway would it cost 20 to 40 miliion to build a airport that size. You probably have a couple hundred thousand in pavement and landscaping work, and at most, 1 million in brand new buildings and utilities.We just completed a project for 17 million that has 500 solar panels, 10 acres of 8 inch concrete, geothermal heat, 300 light poles, a 19,000 sq ft building made from 80% glass, a 2 acre paved parking lot, irrigation system, and we capture rain water in a 20,000 gallon tank. ALL for 17 million..plus 114 cameras on CCTV system..

Windy

Unfortunately, whenever the government is involved, it always costs a LOT more!

IndependentThinker

You may understand facilities but you are not knowledgeable about what it takes to build a new airport. The most recent one being built is just east of Orange City Iowa with a 5000 foot runway. On 160 acres, it will cost 25 million to complete, of which the sponsors will pay 2.5 million or 10%. The rest comes from FAA grants.

tmann4664

Couldnt be too hard to build a runway.. And Norwalk certainly dosn't need a 5000 ft runway, nor does it need 160 acres to build a new one. After the projects I have done to completeion, I'm pretty sure a airport would be simple.I have project managed a brand new school from the ground up, a brand new office headquarters building, and i'm currently project managing for a 22 million dollar CNG (compressed natural gas) filling station. I have overseen over 157 million projects in the past 15 years, so I'm thinking I could handle a project the size of Norwalks airport..

Windy

How many AIRPORTS have YOU actually built? How many aircraft have YOU piloted? Sure, you know YOUR business, but that does NOT make you an expert on all things that have to do with construction. As an armchair quarterback, I'll bet you're undefeated, too! LOL

"A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything."
~Anonymous

shovelhead

The tax assessments are a joke. Just take the appraisal to the hearing & get the proper tax set for the value of the property. I had to do the same thing. They said my place was worth 320K...got it down to 230K with a valid appraisal.

zonedin

I read all the blogs on sell, sell sell. Unlike most of the bloggers I did my research before I started adding to this blog. Why is it so hard to accept the fact that the airport can't be closed or sold without the FAA's authorization. Whether you like it or not the federal government is part of our life, and especially intertwined with our transportation system. Federal money goes to all different state and county departments for different projects. Whether it be for highways, agriculture, parks, etc. Get over it. It's time for Jr. to realize he isn't going to always get what he wants even if daddy has close ties to the local families of power, and a few local ignorant politicians. The airport benefits the entire community. If Bill was as smart as he claims, he would use the airport to bring in more customers to his events instead of continuing his cry baby antics. Work together or LEAVE. It can still be a Win-Win for the community. We can still have the airport and the raceway, but it requires Bill to compromise and make changes in his plan.

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