County tax bills include city, school district taxes

Published 7:11 pm Monday, December 15, 2008

A number of calls to the Pearl River County Tax Assessor’s Office seem to be based on the same topic, taxpayers are not aware there was a change in the way tax bills are handled.

Tax Assessor Gary Beech said the change involves county taxpayers getting one tax bill for all of their taxes, which includes county, city and school district taxes. All those taxes listed on one bill appear to be a gross increase in county taxes.

True increases in county taxes will be attributed to the recent county-wide reappraisal set forth by the state. That reappraisal could also cause some residents who were previously exempt from property taxes to now have to pay taxes, Beech said.

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In other business at the Pearl River County Board of Supervisor’s meeting on Monday, Tammy Parks was on the agenda again. She has been before the board the last few meetings with complaints of how her neighbors removed dirt from the county right of way to put in their own yard. That act adversely effected the drainage in her area, she says.

Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero said it seems as though recent efforts by the county to add more dirt to the area have fixed the flooding. Adding any more dirt to the area would only create a bowl, which would deteriorate the asphalt.

Dissatisfied with the outcome, Parks pressed the issue further, going into her personal disputes between her and her neighbors. Sheriff David Allison said every time his department has been called out concerning one of the disputes, charges were pressed, but the feud between the neighbors continues.

“They’re just kind of always feuding, kind of like the Hatfields and the McCoys,” Allison said.

District III Supervisor Hudson Holliday told Parks that the county can only do so much and would rather not get involved in personal disputes.

“You getting along with your neighbors is not our problem,” Holliday said.

Parks was told by Board president Anthony Hales that the board will do what it can to maintain the drainage and roads in the county when they are aware of any problems.

An education can help a person build on earning potential, said Pearl River County GED program representative Janet Thornton. On average, people without a high school diploma or GED will make less than $10,000 a year. However if that same person acquires their GED, earnings potential can move up to between $30,000 to $50,000 a year, she said.

There is a GED program offered in both the Poplarville and Picayune areas. In Poplarville, interested parties can attend GED classes on the PRCC campus, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Similar classes are offered at the WIN Job Center in Picayune on Mondays and Wednesdays, though seating is limited to 24 students at the WIN Center, Thornton said.

While classes are free, the test costs $40. In some cases the test can be paid for with a private grant if the student qualifies, Thornton said.

Thornton brought the information to the board to ask members to share it with their employees and the public.

A request to have a private road taken over by the county was denied by the board. Allen Schubert presented his case to the board, stating he knows his road is a private road, but is still looking for some kind of help. The road to his house, Terry Schubert Road, is in a severely poor state of disrepair. Unless a 4×4 vehicle is used to traverse the road, there is the risk of that vehicle getting stuck, which happened to Schubert’s pregnant sister-in-law recently.

The board let Schubert know that the county will not take a private road into its fold unless it is brought to the county’s specifications, which means black topping the road. Hales said there is an avenue to petition the board to take the road into its maintenance schedule, but even if the petition is turned in, there is no guarantee the county will accept it. Hales directed Schubert to the Secretary of State’s Web site where he can get more information on the petition process.

In other business the board;

— Acknowledged a petition from George Ford Road residents protesting the possible construction of an apartment building.

— Approved a bid from Huey Stockstill for $655,198.60 to repair the base and to level and overlay Old Kiln Road.

— Approved Orange Cloud Lane, R B D Lane, Sunny Sky Trail and Brown Bunny Trail as private roads.

The next board meeting is at 9 a.m. Dec. 22.