Assessor suggests no tax hike from county, city

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NATCHEZ — With personal and real property assessments increasing by approximately $29 million, Tax Assessor Reynolds Atkins challenged city and county officials Monday to not raise the tax millage.

“With the increase we have, I don’t think you need to raise the millage,” Atkins said. “I’m hoping the city does not either.”

Adams County Supervisors President Mike Lazarus said at the board’s regularly scheduled meeting the county has never been in the habit of raising millage.

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“I don’t really see any reason at all to raise the millage,” Lazarus said. “We’ve lowered it twice since I’ve been on.”

Atkins was at the supervisors meeting Monday discussing the 2017 assessments.

Personal property assessments increased by approximately $21.6 million from 2016 to 2017. Personal property includes automobiles, mobile homes and business items such as machinery and equipment and inventory.

Assessed personal property in the county is $104,779,377.

Real property assessments increased by approximately $7.7 million. Real property includes land, improvements and residences.

Assessed real property in the county is $178,423,965.

Approximately $20 million of the total increase is the fee-in-lieu tax incentive agreement the county signed with Von Drehle in December. The county will receive approximately $300,000 this year from the fee-in-lieu, while the school district will receive $260,000, County Administrator Joe Murray said.

Other new housing developments also came on the tax rolls in 2017, including some at Beau Pre, Greenfield Road and a multi-million dollar house.

Many residents received increased assessments, Atkins said.

He said assessed values increased $2,000 to $3,000 per taxpayer. At a $2,000 increase, Atkins said city residents would pay $31 extra and county residents an additional $23.

Atkins said property owners could come by the tax assessor’s office until July 31 to view their assessment and make any objections.

Lazarus said every four years, every property in the county has to have been reassessed. Lazarus said 2017 was the year in which all properties had to be reassessed.

Though sometimes assessed rates stay flat, Lazarus said they typically increase.

Lazarus also encouraged residents to check their assessments with Atkins’ office during the next two weeks. Supervisors cannot check every parcel, so Lazarus said they would not know of any issues unless residents come forward.

“You have to come to our first board meeting in August with complaints,” Lazarus said. “We will try to work with you anyway we can. If it is not fair, we will do what we need to do to make it right.”