Tax assessments expected to rise this tax season

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2016

Property owners within Pearl River County can expect their property assessments to increase due to the state mandated implementation of a new appraisal manual.
Pearl River County Tax Assessor Gary Beech said the new manual was issued in 2012, but was not set to go into effect until this year due to delays encountered as a result of Hurricane Katrina. He said this manual will increase the assessed value of the various components that make up a home, leading to an increase in individual assessments. That means the value of brick, wood, electrical components, pumping supplies and other building materials will be given a new value.
Beech estimates a 10 to 15 percent increase in the assessed value of most homes in the county.
“Some people may see a lot more than that,” Beech said.
Those people could see an increase of as much as 25 to 40 percent, he said.
However, the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors cannot increase their revenue past a certain percentage, according to state law. Mississippi Code of 1972 states that the “amount of such levy shall be deemed to be an amount necessary to produce the revenue received in the next preceding year plus, at the option of the taxing authority, an increase not to exceed ten percent of such revenue.”
Beech said that since ad valorem revenue makes up the county budget, the Board of Supervisors may have to reduce the millage rate, and keep the increase to homeowners to 10 percent in order to stay within the confines of the law.
However, it is still unclear how much of an increase there will be. Beech said if the increase is only 10 percent, then the millage rate could legally stay the same and the county would receive the maximum increase. But if the increase were more than 10 percent, then the county would legally have to reduce the millage.
The exact amount of the increase will not be known until about the end of June.
Most of the other counties in the state of Mississippi have already implemented the new appraisal manual, Beech said.
Residents are encouraged to review the tax rolls when they are ready for public review in August. Objections to the assessed value of a property can be presented to the Board of Supervisors by the first Monday in September.

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