Dawson and her son, Lance Dawson, attempted to mediate the case with representatives from the Polk County Tax Assessor’s Office, County Attorney Brad McFall, and mediator Leslie Simmons.
The mediation Tuesday was court ordered, according to Dawson.
Dawson had been fighting the $63,000 assessment on her mobile home set on family land since summer. She went to the Board of Tax Assessors, then appealed to the Polk County Board of Equalization.
The equalization board decided to set the assessment at $58,901. The assessment is for the home only and doesn’t include the land.
Dawson said she decided to pursue it in court to get a judge’s ruling when she was told she had to attend the mediation session.
The media was not allowed into the session according to law.
Details discussed during mediation are part of a confidentiality agreement both parties had to sign, so they are not available to the public.
However, before the meeting, the Dawsons said they wanted the assessment to come down to around $35,000 and didn’t want another reassessment for three years.
Their figures stem from a 1998 bill of sale on the mobile home, which the ate now labels a manufactured home, and standardized figures from a local bank. The bill of sale shows the home was bought for around $44,000 and the bank’s paperwork shows they place the value today only at around $18,000.
Appraiser Shelly Staley said in previous meetings they only reassess a property every three years because of the size of the county and staffing.
However, at the last meeting, she informed the board she planned to reassess Dawson’s mobile home next year to include a new roof and shed.
The hour and a half mediation session, at times, seemed to be going well with the Dawsons stepping out of the room to allow the mediator and McFall talk to representatives from the assessor’s office.
However, apparently the county decided not to come down to a negotiated offer from the Dawsons and Mrs. Dawson decided she might get a better deal from a judge.
The Dawsons filed paperwork with the court to get a court date after the mediation session.