Technology fee added to court cases

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By Tia Lyn Lacorchick staff writer

The Morgan County Board of Commissioners approved resolutions to authorize new fees and renew a contract with Traylor Business Services (TBS), the auditors for the Morgan County Board of Assessors for the last five years.

The board unanimously voted to authorize the Magistrate and Probate courts of Morgan County to charge a $5 technology fee for every civil case filed or criminal charge imposed by the courts.

The technology fee system will become effective on July 1, 2014. “This fee will directly go towards the technology needs of the court and the clerk of the court,” explained Andy Ainslie, Chairman of the BOC. According to the BOC resolution, “the Magistrate Court of Morgan County needs to acquire advanced technology for the proper operation of said court, in both civil and criminal cases…”

The resolution mandates that the fee, which cannot exceed more than $5, must be exclusively used for technology costs, such as the purchase, lease and maintenance and installation of equipment and software. The board also approved a resolution that “requires the county governing authority to fix and publish the qualifying fee that must be paid by individuals seeking to run for election to county office.”

The board set different fees for different county offices. The fee for the Board of Education (Districts 4 and 5) is now set at $112.59 and the County Commissioner (Districts 1 and 2) fee is now set at $144.00. The board also voted to keep the services of Traylor Business Services (TBS) to conduct audits of business personal property. TBS has done audits for the Morgan County Board of Assessors for the last five years.

According to the TBS contract, “The purpose of this program is to assure that equal treatment is provided to all taxpayers by establishing a verification program in which all accounts are examined.

TBS is to assist the board by providing consultation in organizing this program and by performing personal property verification reviews of Morgan County’s business taxpayers.” TBS charges the board between $325 and $5,500 per review, depending on the Account Class.

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