How taxes in the county are spent

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

Pearl River County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin spoke during Picayune Main Street’s quarterly membership meeting about how tax dollars collected within the county are used.

Each year, the county tries to find the best way to divide a total budget of $27.2 million. Of that money, $17.4 million is used for the general fund, the rest is allocated to other areas such as school districts.

Out of the general fund, 59 departments across the county that provide services to residents need funding. Lumpkin said that departments that deal with citizen bad behavior consume the bulk of that funding. In total $9.8 million is spent to deal with criminal offenses, equating to $6.3 million funding the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department and $3.5 million funding the local court systems.

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Even though millage rates vary by school district, out of the total taxes property owners pay, a large portion funds the school districts.

In one example Lumpkin shared with the audience, a house valued at about $200,000 inside the city limits of Picayune would incur about $4,000 in taxes. Of that total, about $1,500 would be provided to the Picayune School District, about $1,000 would go to the city of Picayune, $890 would go to the county’s general fund and $250 would help fund maintenance and construction of roads. The rest would be divided up between the Pearl River Community College, the county’s trust fund, the Pearl River County Hospital and Nursing Home and to pay for the process to regularly reappraise properties.

Lumpkin said the county is regularly audited by the state to ensure that reappraisals are not only conducted every four years, but also ensure they are within 10 to 20 percent of a bank’s appraisal.