Notice of a taxing increase

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2016

This week I got a notice in the mail that the assessed value of my home increased.
I was not alone. According to the county tax office, 14,000 other people received a similar notice.
It’s not very often that the value of something we own increases. Vehicles lose their value as soon as they leave the dealer’s parking lot and electronics usually aren’t worth much after a few months. So, typically, when the value of something owned increases, that’s good news. Not when you pay annual taxes on it, however.
A home is one of those long-term purchases where the owner can expect its value to increase over time. As it does, the annual taxes collected increase as well.
The reason assessments across Pearl River County increased was because our local tax office was mandated to put a new book outlining the value of building materials into use.
Those values went up because of that, meaning the value of the structure also increased.
What does this mean?
Well, if local governmental agencies, including the City Council, Board of Aldermen, Board of Supervisors and members of all three school boards, decide to request the same millage as last year, taxes paid by property owners will go up.
Alternately, they can decide to request less millage, thereby collecting the same amount of taxes as the year before, saving property owners from a tax increase.
We hear it all the time from members of every governing body, “Our budgets are tight, we need to find a way to generate more revenue.”
The thing is, the budget of each property owner is tight as well.
Every year community members come up with ways to make their annual income fit their yearly expenses.
The same should be true of the governmental agencies that spend our tax dollars.

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