The majority of a 781-acre tract in Colbert that houses a clay-shooting club will again be taxed at a lower rate.
Property owner Coleman Whitehead agreed to terms to extract 75 acres to be taxed at the regular rate for the clay-shooting operation. The rest of the tract will regain conservation land status in which it will be taxed less heavily.
The tax assessors’ board — including new member David Ragland — voted 4-1 in favor of the agreement, with Larry Stewart casting the lone “no” vote.
With just four members last month, the board found itself deadlocked in a 2-2 stalemate.
Landowners opting not to develop their property can apply for the less costly conservation land status tax rate. The terms of conservation status prohibit commercial activity on the land and Stewart argued last month that the clay-shooting club violated that clause.
He noted a website for Brush Creek Sporting Club which he said advertised all-day events and corporate hunts.
Whitehead’s land held conservation status until earlier this year when it was stripped of that designation. Whitehead, however, was imposed no fine.
Stewart, in casting the only descending vote Thursday, said he still had reservations about granting this designation when a penalty wasn’t imposed. He also contends that a land can’t be placed back in conservation the same year it was taken out.
“I’m not really sure in my mind that was even appropriate to even put it back in conservation for the year, period — deal or no deal, so to speak,” he said.