Tornado victims eligible for tax relief

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Daily American Republic

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Owners of homes destroyed by Wednesday's tornado will have a little more paperwork to fill out, but the result will be some financial help.

Butler County Assessor Marion Tibbs said he will be mailing forms to the people involved so they can fill out and apply for property tax relief.

In 1997, Tibbs said, the Butler County Commission passed a resolution at his request to make the county an occupancy county.

According to state law, when a county becomes an occupancy county, the assessor can remove property from the current year's tax rolls if the home is uninhabitable because of a natural disaster. The assessor only needs an application by the property owner.

The statute makes this tax relief available to anyone who has lost a structure from a natural disaster such as tornado, fire, flood or earthquake. Taxes will not be levied on the property from the date of the destruction until the time the property is once again inhabitable.

Tibbs has made up the forms and expects a state tax commissioner to be in the county Monday to approve it.

In addition to the homes destroyed in the Pine Cone Estates subdivision, Tibbs said that two homes were destroyed in the Oak Brier area, and four were lost across Highway 67 from Pine Cone Estates.

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