What is a tax warrant, or warrant concerning delinquent property taxes?  How concerned should you be over getting such a warrant in the mail from the sheriff’s office?  Does it mean you could be headed for jail?


      What is a tax warrant, or warrant concerning delinquent property taxes?  How concerned should you be over getting such a warrant in the mail from the sheriff’s office?  Does it mean you could be headed for jail?

   Such questions were put to Kiowa County Sheriff Kendal Lothman at Friday’s County Commission meeting because of an elderly resident having raised such concerns recently with Commissioner Don Richards.

   Richards said the individual had told him “he’d gotten a letter one day from the treasurer’s office and then the sheriff the next day…and was worried about what kind of trouble he was in.”

   Saying he knew whom Richards was referring to, Lothman said the individual owed delinquent taxes over two items totaling a little more than $50.  “He came in and paid the amount,” Lothman said.  “There were actually two warrants since there were two items but most of the warrants issued by my office are for those kinds of small amounts.”

   “He seemed to think it ($50-some paid) was a fee you got for sending the warrant,” Richards told Lothman.

   “No, it was just the amount he owed, and those warrants are not a warrant for arrest,” Lothman said.  “It’s an order for me to go seize property, but I notify them first by letter before doing that.  I probably send out 50 of those letters a year, after I’m notified of (the delinquency) by the treasurer’s office, and about 65 percent are small amounts.  Some are corporations that own land here and just forget to pay it.  (Below is a sample copy of the letter the Sheriff’s Office typically sends out.)

In other matters…

   >Lothman told commissioners that Belvidere area rancher Dick Robbins had told him at this week’s fair that he’d put $5,000 in the South Central Community Foundation to install rest rooms in the red livestock barn at the fairgrounds, and that he’d give another $5,000 once the plans for doing so were finalized.

    “Really, $10,000 won’t begin to touch what that would take,” Commissioner Gene West said.  “Around $80,000 to $100,000 is more like it.  There’s already rest rooms in the community building a short walk from the barn.”

   “I guess SCCF is $5,000 better off,” Richards added.

    Lothman pointed out there will also be restrooms in the concession stand that will be constructed in the next year around 50 feet east of the barn.

    “But I guess we can have the architects look at this and give us a rough idea of what it would cost,” West concluded.

    >Lothman also said that while progress is being made, not all of the toilets in the jail are yet in working order.  “One involves a problem with the internal piping in the toilet, so we’ll have to replace it,” he said.

   >It was also decided that Register of Deeds Marilyn Brown would continue to notify those who’ve overpaid for services rendered by her office.  “If they tell me to keep it (the overage) I’ll put it in the general fund,” Brown said.

   >Matt Christenson presented an exhibit design contract for the interior of the new county historical museum to be a part of County Commons once it’s relocated inside that facility.

   >West appointed Christenson to take his place during the canvassing of votes Friday, in lieu of his being a candidate for reelection to the commission.

   >Gunnar Stauth of Road and Bridge said that while three of the County’s five mowers are currently down he plans to have two of them back in service soon.