Increased assessments has everyone’s hands out

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2016

When the news broke that assessments in Pearl River County were going to increase due to the implementation of a new book increasing the values of building materials, every homeowner took a deep breath, knowing exactly what was going to happen.

In true form, as budget workshops are being held and budgets are being adopted, at least one governmental body has found a way to increase the taxes they can legally collect.

Tuesday, in spite of previous comments from Picayune’s Separate Municipal School Board of Trustees to the contrary, taxes were raised. 

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Several of the more vocal members expressed their desire to keep spending at the same level as the year prior. But when the matter came up for a vote, their budget increased by almost 

$150,000. That means residents in the Picayune School District with a home valued at $100,000 can expect their tax bill to increase by $70. Somehow, that math does not add up. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

In contrast, Poplarville’s School 

Board of Trustees requested the same level of funding as the year prior.

But there are two more agencies that have still to finalize their budget. 

As Picayune’s City Council and the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors work on their budgets, homeowners should keep a close eye on whether their taxes will increase even more. 

Wednesday, several agencies approached the Board of Supervisors asking for increased budgets. It’s still unknown if those requests will be accepted. 

The only request that made any sense, was to give employees with the sheriff’s department a raise. If a department can’t keep their employees due to low pay, then a raise is warranted. However, that does not mean, with some careful budgeting, those funds can’t be found elsewhere. 

We hope our local leaders will find a way to keep our taxes to a minimum to avoid putting undue hardship on property owners.