Minerals rights currently held by the county could soon make their way back into the hands of property owners in the near future.
“What I want to do is take the minerals, those little minute pieces of minerals we get back because no one will buy them, ... feed those to the county and then offer them to the land holders at whatever the cost is to us,” Bent County Treasurer Kathy Brown said.
She said they have a lot of really old mineral right liens that were struck off and could be removed from the tax roll. But instead of just dropping them off the tax roll which would essentially put them in a black hole she would like to put them back in the hands of land holders while in the process eliminating the mineral tax schedules they have.
“I can record the transfer to the county, and then we own them. Then I research who owns the land and offer them to the land owner,” Bent County Treasurer Kathy Brown said.
Commissioner Kim MacDonnell said that the reason for the amount of minute mineral rights is because they can be split up amongst a large group of people.
“If I own a piece of property and nobody has reserved any minerals then there is no separate tax for the minerals. But if Kathy sold it to me and reserved 50% of the minerals then you have two tax notices ... If Kathy reserves 50% and then has 20 children and then sold it to them then there would be 20 mineral tax schedules, or 30, or 100,” she said.
Brown said that a huge number of them amount to 12 and 17 cents and the county rarely collects on them. So to clean everything up she said it would be best to deed them back to the land holders.
But before she begins this process MacDonnell asked Brown to bring the commissioners more information like how many deeds there will be and the expenses of the project.
“I think it’s an excellent idea but I would like to see what we’re looking at,” she said.
In other news from the meeting Las Animas School District Superintendent Elsie Goines, spoke about the introduction of Jr. High Baseball this year. She said that they struggled to get other schools to participate. But in the past month three schools hopped on and now they have enough teams.
No firm date was set for the start of their season but she indicated it would be sometime in the spring.
The next Bent County Commissioners meeting is scheduled to be held on Feb. 6 starting at 9 a.m. at the Bent County Courthouse.