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Ascension administration to hire auditor

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GONZALES, La. (AP) — Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. Smiley Jr. says he plans to proceed with hiring a firm to audit the parish's salt dome caverns, although the Parish Council will not reconsider participating in paying for the effort.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1kEZXDz ) Smiley and his staff have found that caverns in Ascension Parish's two salt domes have not been on tax rolls in at least 10 years and want to hire a Texas company other parish assessors are using to assess other unreported caverns in Louisiana.

Parish Attorney O'Neil Parenton Jr. has advised the council that paying for an expert to determine the caverns' assessed values would create the appearance of a conflict. The Parish Council sits as the Board of Review to hear appeals of property tax rolls compiled by the assessor.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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