Long tax office drive-thru lines due to new tag purchases

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 23, 2020

The line at the Tax Assessor’s office in Picayune has been long at times, and that is not entirely due to misconceptions about what services are offered via the drive-thru, said Tax Assessor Gary Beech.
At first the long lines were due to some people attempting to conduct Chancery Court business in the tax office’s drive-thru, such as the need to pay child support or back taxes.
But Beech said his staff have since taken efforts to inform the public of what services are offered by utilizing one employee to walk down the line of cars to see what business the resident needs to conduct. If they find a resident who is trying to conduct business other than what the tax office can provide, the resident is alerted to that fact.
Now, the major reason for long lines at the tax office occurs when a resident wants to purchase a tag for a vehicle they just bought.
Beech said that it may take up to 30 minutes for staff to go through all the steps to properly register a vehicle to a resident. Tag renewals are a much faster process, taking between two to five minutes. Beech said the process to register a newly purchased car can become more time intensive if that vehicle was purchased outside of Mississippi.
Those same staff that walk the lines have been helping to expedite the process by pulling residents who only need a renewal to the side since their business takes less time.
Beech reminds residents that if they want to renew their car tag without waiting in line there is still the option to mail their payment in, or to pay online. However, both options come with a fee. Paying online incurs a 2 percent credit card fee of the total cost of the tag, while paying via mail entails a $3 mailing fee.
The only option to acquire a tag for a newly purchased vehicle is at the tax office.
Tags can also be acquired at the Poplarville location by speaking with a staff member stationed under the covered porch at the side of the building. If a staff member is not on the porch, residents can call the office at 601-403-2300.

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