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VictoryLand paying back taxes, but seeking some of funds back

The Tuskegee News of Tuskegee, Alabama

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VictoryLand recently paid $5.8 million in delinquent property taxes to the Macon County Revenue office, but has filed for a hearing with the Board of Equalization to have the amount reduced.

According to Revenue Commissioner Ed Corbitt, the part of the money paid to the county was distributed to Macon County Board of Education and to the Macon County Commission.

"Every agency that receives money from property tax collections was given a portion of the $5.8 million," Corbitt stated. "The Board of Education will receive approximately $3.5 million and the commission $1.5 million."

With the hearing pending on May 28 both entities have only received a partial payment. The Macon County Commission received only $441,000 of the $1.5 million and is waiting to see if a refund has to be paid.

"We were only given part of the money because we do not know how the Board of Equalization will handle the situation," said Louis Maxwell, chairman of the Macon County Commission. "We would love for the board to keep the value at the rate it is now, but they have to be fair since VictoryLand has been closed for so long."

VictoryLand's opinion is that with the closing of the facility the value of the property is less therefore the taxes should be less.

Corbitt's understanding of the situation is, "If the Board rules in favor of VictoryLand, then a refund will have to be given."

During its Monday, May 12 meeting, te county commission decided to use some of the $441,000 to make payments on existing obligations. A total of $67,000 will be paid to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama for insurance premiums and $25,000 will be paid back to the Road and Bridges Fund. Commissioners want to make sure the money is used so that it can go as far as possible.

"We want to stretch the money as far as we can," said Maxwell.

"We hope to be able to keep the additional $900,000 to take some of the strain off our budget, but we know that might not happen and we have to be prepared."

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Original Publication Date: May 22, 2014

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