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State, county to move Fayetteville revenue office

By Scarlet Sims

This article was published June 14, 2018 at 1:08 a.m.

nwa-democrat-gazettedavid-gottschalk-myra-martinez-from-left-deputy-assessor-jerri-cloud-deputy-assessor-and-lea-rochester-chief-deputy-personal-property-test-a-signature-device-friday-january-8-2016-with-russell-hill-washington-county-tax-assessor-at-a-new-additional-washington-county-assessor-office-inside-the-state-revenue-office-and-department-of-motor-vehicle-on-razorback-road-in-fayetteville

NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK Myra Martinez (from left), deputy assessor, Jerri Cloud, deputy assessor, and Lea Rochester, chief deputy personal property, test a signature device Friday, January 8, 2016, with Russell Hill, Washington County tax assessor, at a new additional Washington County Assessor office inside the State Revenue Office and Department of Motor Vehicle on Razorback Road in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The State Revenue Office on Razorback Road must move by the end of the year, county and state officials said.

"We wanted to stay in the building, but the owners were looking to tear it down," said Wes Lacewell, real estate services administrator for the building authority division at the state Department of Finance and Administration.

The Revenue Office houses services for drivers and motor vehicles and Washington County assessor and tax collector offices that provide paperwork needed for licenses.

Mathias Shopping Centers owns the 7,200-square-foot building. The 20-year-old building is worth about $638,700, according to property records.

Mathias recently notified county and state officials they need to move out when the lease expires Dec. 31. Ideally, a new office would be set up by the end of this year, but a clause in the state's contract allows a 90-day extension through March 2019, Lacewell said.

The state plans to start the request for bids for a new place as soon as possible, Lacewell said. No date has been set yet for when the state will accept proposals and bids, he said.

The state chooses the new location from bids, but state and county officials have discussed needs, Collector Angela Wood said. That includes getting a place with enough room, adequate parking and easy access, Wood said.

The office at 965 Razorback Road is crowded and needs repair, Assessor Russell Hill said.

The new lease is likely to cost the state more money than it spends now, but there are no estimates available yet, Lacewell said. The state is paying $7,190 per month for the space this year, Lacewell said.

The county pays $1 per year for its space, Wood said.

Samuel H. Mathias is the agent for Mathias Shopping Centers and Mathias Properties, according to the secretary of state. Mathias wasn't available for comment. His secretary referred questions to Arthur Thurman who said the company has no comment on the revenue office's relocation or plans for the property.

NW News on 06/14/2018

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