Politics

AG Rutledge: Summary of Opinions

Opinion Number: 2021-045 Requestor:   Beaty, Howard M., Jr. The Honorable

Whether real property purchased with road department funds, garnered by either the County Road Tax (Ark. Code Ann. § 26-7-101 et seq.) or the State Road Fund (Ark. Code § 27-72-305 et seq.) can be leased to other Ashley county governmental entities?  Q2) Whether real property purchased with road department funds, garnered by either the County Road Tax or the State Road Fund, can be leased to non-governmental entities, more specifically to non-profit entities?  Q3) Assuming the real property can be leased to non-governmental or non-profit entities, can said property be leased to those entities for a nominal sum or must it be for fair market value?  RESPONSE: Q1 & 2:  Yes.  These statutory restrictions plainly apply to the use of road-fund revenues. There is no similar state-law restriction on the use of property purchased with road-fund revenues. Q3: The property may be leased for less than fair market value but the lease must be supported by adequate consideration. The Arkansas Supreme Court has held that non-monetary consideration can be adequate if a “public advantage” will result from the lease. The adequacy of consideration is a question of fact in each instance.

Opinion Number: 2021-051 Requestor:   Ballinger, Bob The Honorable

The Eureka Springs School District has been asked to donate a vacated school property to the Eureka Springs Community Center Foundation. Has the relevant law changed since the issuance of Attorney General Opinions 2017-105 and 2015-105, regarding the donation of school property?  RESPONSE:  According to my review, the state of the law at issue in these opinions has not changed. The legal principles discussed therein are still valid and controlling.

Opinion Number: 2021-053 Requestor:   Berry, Mark H. The Honorable

May a married couple living separately each claim a homestead property tax credit for their separate residences?  Q2) May a married couple living separately claim a homestead property tax credit on one residence and a 100% disabled veterans exemption status on the other residence?  Q3) Is 100% disabled veteran status considered a homestead property tax credit as mentioned and described in Arkansas Code § 26-26-1119?  These questions pertain to a married couple that jointly owns two homes in which they live separately, where each spouse claims his/her home as the primary residence and where one spouse seeks to claim a homestead property tax credit in his/her residence while the other spouse seeks a 100% disabled veterans’ exemption status at the other residence.  RESPONSE:  The answer to each of these questions is “no” under these facts.  But with regard to Question 3, the applicable restriction is Ark. Code Ann. § 26-3-306(e).  See opinion for discussion of the relevant statutes.

For a full-text version of this or other Attorney General Opinions, visit www.ArkansasAG.gov/opinions

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