Appraisal Mixup Discovered

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Tax assessor Jimmy Slay broke the news to the Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors at a work session Thursday.

County administrator Tony Green later explained what happened.

"There were calculation errors made in the assessed valuation of public utilities to the tune of over $1.1 million in assessed valuation," Green said. "What that means in dollars is over 150,000 taxpayer dollars."

The principal utilities affected were the Mississippi Power Company and East Mississippi Electric Power Association.

"The way public utilities are assessed, they're assessed at 30 percent and due to an error, a clerical error in his office, they were assessed at 45 percent," said Green.

That brought up the question of whether a refund is necessary. Green said initially it was not known if the taxes had been paid.

Slay later explained what happened.

"This situation has been corrected for the future and will not reoccur. Basically, the assessment ratio was incorrect on some public utilities and that generated an overage in the assessment. Now it has been brought to our attention and we corrected it," said Slay.

Slay says his preliminary checkup indicates the taxes had not yet been paid and no refund to the utility companies will be necessary.