Appraising a Problem

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

The Mississippi Tax Commission was represented by Frank McCain and Rich Minton. Both indicated the county is getting a late start that might make completing an appraisal in two years virtually impossible

"You have some serious problems with meeting the county update which is a reappraisal of property, basically in four years," said McCain.

"My concern is there being a capable contractor out there looking for work," said Minton. "The other contractors in the state have counties that they are in the process of updating right now. A county this size, I don't know if there's anyone out there looking for a county this size to take on in less than two years to update, do a complete update in less than two years."

But Lauderdale County tax assessor Jimmy Slay says there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Mississippi State Tax Commission has issued an opportunity to the counties that have reappraisal dates of, correct me if I'm wrong here, about 2005, 2006 to extend that time," said Slay.

The extension would be to the year 2008. The supervisors said they are troubled by the extension proposal because in 2008 a new board may be office.

But faced with little or no choice, the board voted to advertise for an appraisal firm that might be able to do the job now and if they get no response, which they were told was likely, postpone the work for the additional two years and advertise again.

"I've just recently been made aware of some problems that existed prior to my taking office," said Slay, "and since our last update that needs to be dealt with."

In addition, Lauderdale County needs an update of the last appraisal by the end of 2005 followed by the reappraisal by the end of 2006. Qualified companies are in short supply since 75 of the state's 82 counties also need reappraisals within two years and many already have such firms under contract.

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