Dozens of times each week, folks in the Douglas County Register of Deeds office dutifully accept plats, deeds, easements and powers of attorney detailing the orderly transfer of property ownership, plus the dollars and documents to back those purchases up.
And then a $16 million deal comes through the third-floor office at the county courthouse.
It happened last week, when a representative for a local title company stopped by to secure a $16 million mortgage for Campus Crest at Lawrence LLC, which is building an apartment complex at 4301 W. 24th Place in southwestern Lawrence.
The paperwork came with a $41,600 check to satisfy the mortgage registration tax. Another $64 went for recording fees, plus $60 for special fund fees, to help upgrade office technology.
The transaction, though unusual, didn’t command any special treatment.
It simply was one of 122 mortgages handled during the past week, although it did account for more than half of the $29.8 million in mortgages recorded during those seven days in the county.
The bulk of revenue collected in registration taxes is retained by the county to finance county services — from paying sheriff’s deputies to repairing county roads, conducting local elections and protecting the public’s health.
Last year’s registration tax revenue fell short of 2007 totals by about $175,000, a decline of 9 percent.
Collecting $40,000 for the county in a single transaction — the others during the past week averaged a county share of $284.34 — is a welcome responsibility, said Kay Pesnell, the county’s register of deeds.
“Well, $16 million is a big one,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll get some more of those big ones, so we can help the (county’s) coffers.”