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AAC


ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS


AG Opinions: from election commissions to tax exempt property


AG OPINION NO. 2017–039 Te Attorney General determined that County Board of Election Com- missioners has no authority to contract to hire labor, services or an employee to act as election coordinator. Te county judge and other Constitutional county elected officials have the authority to hire or fire their employees. Te AG noted that the county judge under Amendment 55, § 3, is vested with the authority to authorize and approve disbursement of county funds. Further, the county judge has authority under Ark. Code § 14-14-1102 to enter into necessary contracts or other agreements to obligate county funds and to approve expenditure of county funds.


AG OPINION NO. 2017–077 Te AG opined that a court would likely find no impediment to a county


civil attorney simultaneously serving as a state representative and county attorney. Te AG noted there’s no constitutional prohibition to serving as county civil attorney and state representative; and determined that the position of county civil attorney likely would be held by a court to not be a public office. Te AG noted a county civil attorney does not have: tenure, a term of office, a commis- sion, a requirement to take an oath of office, and wields no power of the sover- eign, etc. Decision authority is lacking in the county civil attorney; and the power to advise is not a sufficient factor to con- fer a public office. Te AG noted that deputy prosecuting attorneys are deemed to be public officers (See: Martindale v. Honey, 259 Ark. 416 (1976).


AG OPINION NO. 2017–067 Te AG explained that the tax ex- empt status of property purchased by a


city does not become ef- fective until Jan. 1 of the tax year fol- lowing the purchase. Te AG ex- plained that tax status of a property is established when it is assessed, as of Jan. 1; and a lien equal to the amount of the tax owed attached to the property on the first Monday of the January when the assessment occurs. Te AG determined that the ad valorem taxes must be paid for the entire year including the purchase date even by a tax-exempt entity. Tere are numerous previous AG opinions making the same determinations (See Attorney General Opinions Nos. 2008- 136; 2008-023; and 94-302).


Mark Whitmore AAC Chief Counsel


12


COUNTY LINES, FALL 2017


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