Letter to Editor

On September 12, 2019, an article in the Business and Farm section of the Democrat-Gazette stated the Arkansas Assessment Coordination Department, although having no taxing authority, has recommended that assessments of typical poultry houses be doubled from $4.50 to $9.00 per square foot. The article goes on to say the General Assembly was not involved in the decision to raise the suggested rates, and the authority to raise taxes belongs solely to the County Tax Assessor.

The notion a newly constructed and/or updated older poultry house can be appraised using only the cost basis is clearly flawed. These buildings are built and equipped for the single purpose of growing poultry, and if used for any alternate purpose, the value drops substantially. Depreciation starts when the first flock is placed, yet the tax burden which is too

high to start with, is not reduced accordingly. Assessments are increased when integrator-required updates are made, even though income levels remain flat. This taxing model simply makes no sense.

Many communities across this country would be overjoyed if blessed with multi-million dollar capital investment and job-creating enterprises such as these poultry facilities being built in Arkansas. Red carpets would be rolled out, ribbon-cutting ceremonies held, and incentives offered to REDUCE taxes rather than DOUBLE them!

Some might say schools and other institutions need this increase in tax revenue. I suggest that view is short-sighted and does not consider growth in student enrollment, in the many businesses benefiting from serving this industry, and the exponential growth in the overall tax base. Let’s not kill the goose (in this case the chicken or turkey) that lays the golden egg.

Please contact your assessor and ask for a more reasonable tax level to be considered.

Bill Mainer

17722 hwy 41

Branch, Ar 72928

phone 479-518-6907