Tax raises county’s assessed value

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NATCHEZ — Adding the former Natchez Regional Medical Center facility to the county tax rolls added an additional $3.5 million into the county’s assessed value.

Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins turned over the newly assessed tax rolls to the Adams County Board of Supervisors this week as mandated by state law, and Atkins said the county saw a significant increase in assessed value, between $8 and $10 million.

“The majority of that is that the hospital that went on this year, that was a $3.5 assessed value,” Atkins said. “The rest of that was just industry and agriculture use values that went up.”

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Natchez Regional Medical Center — now Merit Health Natchez under private ownership — was not on the tax rolls because it was owned by Adams County.

While the hospital added a bump to the overall county value, the only tax base that should feel the increase is the Natchez-Adams School District.

“The schools will definitely benefit from that, but the county itself, due to the hospital sale agreement, will not be affected at all,” County Administrator Joe Murray said.

As part of the sale agreement to Merit Health’s parent company, Community Health Systems, the company was given a $675,000 tax credit for 17 years from Adams County and the City of Natchez’s tax millage.

Atkins said the increase from the agricultural land is based on a calculation supplied by the state.

“The state sends us a letter every year telling us what the value is on agricultural use land,” he said. “That (determination) is done by Mississippi State (University) and the soil conservation service as to the productivity of farm land.”

The new assessed value for personal property is $82,419,806 and for real property — which includes land, houses and businesses — is $169,626,992.

Atkins said the tax rolls will be open for review from July 20 to 31 at his office.

“Our books are laid out here for all assessments, and a person can come in and view the assessments to see if it is correct,” he said.

Murray said an increase in valuation for the county would not ultimately change the way he plans the county budget.

“If we had a $5 million surplus, that makes you feel good, but does not affect in any way, form or fashion how I do my budget,” he said.