Last day to appeal property value increases in Warren County is July 31

Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Homeowners in Warren County might’ve received a postcard from the tax assessor’s office in recent months, detailing an increase in their property’s true value.

The increase is due to the state of Mississippi’s December 2021 move to update its new property value assessment system. If a homeowner doesn’t agree with the increased price on the postcard they received, there is an appeal period — but it ends on July 31.

“If the true value (of a home) changed by more than $5,000, I mailed a notice. On that notice, it says you have until July 31 to appeal to me,” said Warren County Tax Assessor Ben Luckett. “(Homeowners) have until Friday. I can go out and we can look at (their property). And that’s why we mail the notices, is just because we like to head this off.”

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These increases won’t hit everyone in the pocketbook, however; those who are over 65 years of age or are disabled will not see an overall change, Luckett said.

“Those who are over 65 or are disabled, I can’t stop the value from changing, but it will take whatever that overage is and put it under their Homestead credit,” he said. “So whatever theirs was, the millage rate didn’t change and their taxes won’t go up.

Luckett estimated that 65 percent of the people calling his office about increased property value were in the demographics of over 65 or disabled. The other 35 percent of those impacted by these changes have had their issues resolved through a phone call or in-office visit with the Tax Assessor.

If an on-site visit is required, he said, there are a few steps that can be taken.

“Once you contact the tax assessor’s office to ask for a reevaluation, I’ll ask you some questions about the house to make sure what we have as far as square footage, bathrooms, flooring and walls and heating and cooling is right,” Luckett said. “If someone wants me to come out, we’ll set up a time for me to do that and re-measure the house. I ask if they’ve had the home refinanced and if they have, I’ll ask for a copy.

“If there’s any kind of adjustments we can make, we’ll make them.”

Luckett said property taxes for those 65 and older would not increase, and that typically when someone appeals it’s because they do not know how much it would cost to rebuild their home today.

“We run on a cost approach — similar to insurance — of what is your house typically worth or what would it cost to build it today,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know what their property is worth, and they see that go up and automatically assume their taxes are going up.”

If the homeowner still wants to make an appeal after contacting the tax assessor’s office, they must present a letter to the Warren County Chancery Clerk’s office stating in writing that they don’t agree with the process. Letters will be presented to the Warren County Board of Supervisors during its Monday, Aug. 1, meeting.