Pipeline to be exempt from property taxes

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A carbon dioxide pipeline in north Warren County will be exempt from Vicksburg and Warren County property taxes as per state law, supervisors agreed Monday.

Denbury Onshore LLC, a subsidiary of Texas-based Denbury Resources, was one of the companies filing objections to this year’s assessments.

The firm pointed to a law passed by the Legislature saying only school and state taxes are payable on property used for enhanced oil recovery projects.

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The pipeline, with a local assessed value of $1,127,913 ranges from 12 to 14 inches in diameter and runs through parts of Warren, Issaquena and Yazoo counties. The line was put into service in 2009 and the exemption continues for nine more years.

Among other protests, assessments on two apartment complexes, Beechwood Park Apartments and Villa Pacis, were held at $2,185,490 and $409,890, respectively. A decision on which another objection was filed, Magnolia Manor, is still “in process,” Tax Assessor Richard Holland said. Consultants representing the complex for low-income seniors on Manor Drive contends its $2,054,130 assessment should be recalculated based on a capitalization rate geared to apartments who offer such housing.

Two more, from Ameristar and Riverwalk casinos, were also left unaddressed in light of litigation pending over their 2009 assessments. Values determined for Riverwalk’s three parcels differed by more than $47 million, while Ameristar has focused its tax appeal in terms of an overall tax bill, which it says would be $437,842 too high if it agrees to the county’s figures. Both cases are pending in circuit court.

Supervisors must have a new spending plan in place by Oct. 1 and must set a rate of property taxation to fund the budget for county operations and the Vicksburg Warren School District. Drafts of the county’s budget for 2010-11 show about $15 million in spending compared to more than $14.4 million or $14.5 million in revenue, depending on the outcome of the two casino suits.