By Alexandra Hedrick, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
At last Monday’s Pearl River County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Robert Crow protested his tax rate set by the county. Ty Gill also asked for the tax sale of his property to be put off for another year.
Gary Beech, county tax assessor, said Crow’s mother bought 22 acres within a subdivision and wanted an agricultural tax rate because of the size of the parcel. Beech said regardless of the amount of acreage in the parcel, if the land has been categorized as a plotted subdivision, the state assesses the property at a subdivision tax rate.
He also added that subdivision regulations “prevents you from doing anything that would qualify you for ag use (tax rate).”
Beech added that there is nothing on his property that would qualify him for agricultural tax rate even if he was not within the subdivision. The board rejected his request.
Ed Pinero, economic development manager for the county, said there are many subdivisions in the county that have plots made up of many acres and if the board changed Crow’s rate, they would have to change it for many others in the county.
Also at the meeting, Ty Gill the owner of an airplane hanger in Picayune asked the board to put off the tax sale of his property. This is the second time that Gill has requested the tax sale be put off.
Gill said he has been in the process for many years of getting a tax exemption from the city because he said he is eligible for one. He said as of right now he owes about $35,000 in taxes.
Pinero, who is also mayor of the City of Picayune, said there is no plan for the city council to vote to relieve Gill of his tax burden. Pinero said to be eligible for a tax exemption on the hanger, Gill would have to be running a business for the greater good.
Pinero also added that through City Manager Jim Luke, Gill has been given an eviction notice for living in his hanger, which Pinero said is illegal. Despite numerous attempts to contact Luke over the past week, Luke had not responded to messages left for him asking that he contact the paper.
Pinero said the fixed-base operator for the airport does receive a discount on his taxes because he works for the city and also fills airplane fuel tanks on behalf for pilots needing fuel. The city also splits the money made on the fuel with the operator.
On a 3-1 vote, the board granted Gill’s request for a delay with board member Sandy Kane Smith voting against Gill’s request.
“I’m gonna give you a second chance, but I don’t want to see you up here again,” said Joyce Culpepper, supervisor for District 2.
Gill said, “either way, I’m going to resolve it within the year.”