Critics: Madison County politicians pay less in property taxes

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Madison County records show the assessed value of property owned by four prominent Madison County politicians has dropped by a combined $316,800 since 2009, leading critics to charge they've benefited from personal and political ties to county Assessor Larry Davis.

A review by The Herald Bulletin (Anderson) of these and other public records confirms the assessments of property owned by County Councilmen Rick Gardner and Mike Gaskill; Gaskill's wife, county Treasurer Kelly Gaskill; and county Recorder Angela Shelton, dropped significantly from 2009 to 2011. Gaskill, who was appointed to his seat on city council, is running for election Tuesday.

An anonymous letter mailed to property owners near where Gardner, the Gaskills and Shelton own property points to a close relationship with Davis as the reason for the tax breaks.