Board facing suits for assessments

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 19, 2016

The Pearl River County Board of Supervisors made final decisions on Wednesday about the roughly 56 property assessment objections.
About 15 of the objections were changed, mostly because those properties were located in a flood zone, County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin said.
The Board considered every objection and worked with the Pearl River County Tax Assessor’s office to come to these results, Lumpkin said.
Before announcing the Board’s decision, supervisors entered into executive session to discuss a strategy for potential litigation concerning the assessments, Board Attorney Joe Montgomery said to the audience.
No action was taken on the matter after executive session, Montgomery said.
District II Supervisor Malcolm Perry made a motion to acknowledge the objections to the tax rolls. Board Vice President Hudson Holliday seconded it and all Board members voted in favor.
Perry then made a motion to deny all other objections to the assessment by any party previously filed. Holliday seconded with all members voting in favor.
Lumpkin said they Board received potential threats of a lawsuit concerning the new assessments.
Benjamin Crosby, who had publicly objected to the assessment of two properties on behalf of the private owners at the Aug. 1 Board meeting, is currently involved in lawsuits with the county, Lumpkin said.
At the Aug. 1 meeting, Crosby also objected to the Board moving forward with the assessments because notices had only been sent to property owners who received a $3,000 increase or more.
Mailed notices were a courtesy to the public, and not required by law, Pearl River County Tax Assessor Gary Beech said at the Aug. 1 meeting.
Residents of the Ravenwood subdivision also publicly objected to their assessments at the Aug. 1 meeting.
Lumpkin said they have also previously sued the county, with the suit going all the way to the state Supreme Court.
Both Crosby and residents of Ravenwood were present at the Board meeting on Wednesday and had their objections denied.

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About Julia Arenstam

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