Cell towers now being taxed as commercial

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2018

As of last year, the tax base in the county was expanded to include new assessments to cell tower sites in the county, which are now taxed as commercial properties.

That means if a cell tower was constructed on land categorized as agricultural, woodland or farmland, that land is now assessed as commercial, since the law requires property be assessed pertaining to its current use.

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Pearl River County Tax Assessor Gary Beech said these cell tower sites will now be taxed separately, and won’t affect any other properties.

Beech said that taxes paid on cell tower sites will ultimately be paid by the company that owns the structure, preventing the landowner from assuming the expense.

Currently, there are 49 cell towers in the county, which generate $105,339 in tax dollars, Beech said.

So far, the tax office has received $88,878 in tax collections from 40 of the 49 listed cell towers, he said.

Becky Macdonald, an appraiser with the Pearl River County Tax Office, said the county has been working on including the cell towers on the tax roll since 2014.

Beech said half of the revenue generated from those structures goes to the county while the other half goes to the school districts in the county.