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Property tax revenues down 4 percent

NATCHEZ — Natchez will take in 4 percent less in property taxes this year than it did last year, based on Adams County Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins’ recent assessment.

Atkins said his assessment came in at $218,383,967, which is down approximately $8 million from last year’s $226,781,247.

The assessed value of the area’s property is approximately 15 percent of the actual value, Atkins said.

The reduction is due largely to a $14 million decrease in taxes paid on equipment used by local company, Denbury Resources.

Denbury qualifies for tax exemptions on several pieces of leased equipment, including oil pipelines and compressors. The exemptions should have applied last year as well, Atkins said, but he was unaware of the exemption. The state notified Atkins of the exemption this year.

The reduced assessed property value determines the value of a mill and possibly the number of mills the county will request from taxpayers.

“In most cases everybody’s taxes will be the same as last year, but it is all determined by the supervisors and city aldermen and school board,” Atkins said.

District 5 Supervisor S.E. “Spanky” Felter said the reduced assessed value should not affect taxes much, if at all.

“I think we’ll be alright if everybody keeps their budget the same,” Felter said.

A lower assessed property value means a mill will be worth less money, but Felter said the board of supervisors will not necessarily adjust the amount of taxes they will levy on property owners.

Atkins said the assessed property value includes car tags, mobile homes, personal property and real estate, both residential and commercial.

Atkins said the assessed value would have increased this year, if it were not for the Denbury exemptions.

Atkins said it is possible that the assessed value could change when the public utilities, such as railroads and pipelines, are added to the assessed value in late September or October.

The public utilities came in at $16 million last year, and he estimates the same value to contribute to the overall assessed property value this year.

“It could still change somewhat. It’s strictly a sample roll,” Atkins said.

The county and city will finalize tax levies after the budgets are finalized in mid-September before the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.

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