Tax Assessor: State-level changes mean property values increase in Warren County

Published 11:20 am Friday, December 17, 2021

Changes in the way property values are calculated are coming to Warren County, thanks to changes made by the Mississippi Tax Commission.

During Monday’s Warren County Board of Supervisors work session, county tax assessor Ben Luckett addressed the board to notify them of the situation. According to Luckett, due to the increase in the cost of building material, the manual his office uses to assess property values became outdated.

To remedy the situation the state of Mississippi released a new property value assessment system.

“All the prices in the manual have gone up significantly,” Luckett said. “We’re going to be sending valuation notices to every single person in the county.

“Really, what it is, in residential neighborhoods, we’ve always used a location multiplier to keep our values in check,” he said. “But we don’t do that in the county, because different locations need different things, and there’s no way to do that equitably.”

The changes will primarily affect those in newer residential neighborhoods and homes with larger square footage — properties that rank high on the residence grading scale (S being the highest, A, B, C, D, E and F being the lowest).

Luckett estimated 80 to 85 percent of homeowners in Warren County will see some kind of a change in their property values, which in turn translates into more taxes owed on said property.

However, he said, not everyone’s property values will go up, and for those age 65 and up, there should be no change in the amount of property taxes owed if the property owner has filed for homestead exemption. The upcoming enrollment period for homestead exemption applications will be from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2022.

“Not everyone is going to see a drastic change in their property value; some might actually see their property values decrease,” Luckett said. “The silver lining, if there’s any in it, is that according to Delta (Computer Systems), in the new homestead law if you’re over 65 or disabled, your value froze when that law went into effect in 2018. If you don’t make any additions to that property, your value isn’t going to change.”

Property owners can expect to receive a notice from the tax assessor’s office in March 2022, and Luckett said they will have an opportunity to contest the increase or have someone from his office come out and re-evaluate their property.