Taxes the same in Poplarville? All on perspective

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tuesday members of the Poplarville Board of Aldermen approved a motion to leave their millage the same as last year.

According to their agenda for the evening’s proceedings, they said the move would not mean a tax increase.

How is that possible, when every other county agency has said that if they left their millage rate the same, it would mean an increase in taxes to each property owner, with some exceptions centered around mobile homes and other properties?

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But for the most part, the recent property assessments mandated by the state, which utilized a new rating for building materials, increased many property owners assessments by thousands of dollars in many instances.

So, if the millage rate was the same, then that would mean the taxes for those properties would also increase, meaning an increase in tax collections for the governing body that made that decision.

But Poplarville’s city clerk put a spin on the matter. It was that they expect to only collect 80 to 90 percent of the taxes owed, meaning their budget would essentially stay the same.

What that means to taxpayers is they will be footing the bill to ensure Poplarville has the funding they need, subsidizing the funding not collected by those who choose not to pay their taxes.

So, in essence, it’s not a tax revenue increase from Poplarville’s perspective. But to those paying those taxes, a tax increase it is indeed.

Making a budget that ensures all departments are funded and city employees receive fair pay is a difficult process.

But in comparison, Picayune’s City Council opted to lower their millage, or tax levy, to ensure there was not a true increase in taxes, to the property owners.

However, if what Poplarville’s city clerk said is accurate, that only about 85 percent of taxpayers settle up when it’s time, then Picayune’s city leaders will have to find a way to make up for a shortfall.