Club: "Treat Us Fairly"

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Northwood Country Club's attorney, Ronnie Walton, has sent a letter to the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors requesting the assessed value of its golf course be adjusted, as Briarwood Country Club's was recently.

Tax assessor Jimmy Slay explained what happened. "The reappraisal process valued Northwood Country Club and it valued Briarwood Country Club," Slay said. "When Briarwood got their new values, they brought it to the board of supervisors and challenged those values and the board lowered those values. At that point in time, based on the reappraisal, there was a $10,000 per acre value on Northwood and a $10,000 per acre value on Briarwood. The board reduced Briarwood's value to $4,500 per acre."

The board left Northwood's appraisal at $10,000, more than twice as much as Briarwood's. Northwood's directors say that's not fair. Slay said there's nothing he can do.

"The board has the ultimate authority. They really are the ones that set value in Lauderdale County as evidenced by the valuing of Briarwood Country Club. They're the ones who set the value. I can recommend to the board but they have the ultimate authority to set the value," said Slay.

The assessor said the original appraisal of $10,000 per acre on each course is accurate and it hasn't changed.

"I made a recommendation when I presented the rolls to the board for the 2002 tax rolls," said Slay. "And that recommendation was $10,000 per acre for Briarwood and Northwood. I didn't change it. The board changed it."

Now the board will have to decide whether to lower Northwood's, increase Briarwood's or do nothing at all.