Monday first day for public to address tax rolls

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 22, 2004

[7/22/04]Warren County supervisors have taken another step in the process of setting a budget and tax millage for the next fiscal year by declaring the personal and real property rolls equalized and setting a date to begin hearing protests from landowners.

The supervisors took the first step July 6 as they accepted the real and personal property rolls from Deputy Tax Assessor Jim Agent. The board has since met regularly to review the rolls, as required by state law, to make sure the true values set by the Tax Assessor’s Office were correct.

At a special meeting called Wednesday to open bids on the Belva Drive Bridge Replacement Project, supervisors unanimously declared the rolls were equalized and ready for inspection by the general public. The vote came after a motion made by District 5 Supervisor Richard George and seconded by District 1 Supervisor David McDonald.

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They then agreed to allow the public the mandated chance to examine the rolls beginning Monday.

If there are any disagreements between the value set by the tax assessor and what the property owner believes is the value, the owner needs to contact the assessor’s office. If the disagreement cannot be worked out, the property owner can bring the matter to the board of supervisors beginning Aug. 16 for a final decision.

After any protests are resolved, the board will officially adopt the budget for Fiscal Year 2004, which begins Oct. 1, and then set the millage rate needed to raise the money to fund the budget. The budget for the present fiscal year, set last year, was a little more than $29.4 million.

In other business, the board:

Awarded a contract for $204,665.155 to Fordice Construction Co., of Vicksburg to replace a bridge on Belva Drive. Fordice’s bid was 18.9 percent under the engineer’s estimate of $256,629.91 and a little more than $28,000 lower than the next lowest bid.

Belva Drive was closed in November when engineers discovered the wooden support pilings had rotted out and the whole bridge would have to be replaced.

The State Aid Division of the Mississippi Department of Transportation will fund $198,400 under the local service bridge program with $16,500 coming from local funds.

Approved the tax abatement ordinance for certain parts of the City of Vicksburg. The board proposed the ordinance at the request of the city to provide tax incentives to owners of property in designated parts of the city to improve their buildings. Mirroring the city’s own ordinance, the county law will allow the abatement of taxes on the difference between the true value before improvements and the true value after improvements.

Reappointed Bill Jones to the Vicksburg Tallulah Regional Airport board.

Adjourned until 9 a.m. Aug. 2.