April 1st is coming fast and tax officials say a major concern for many right now is homestead exemption.
Lauderdale County Tax Assessor James Rainey says as far as taxes on your home, homestead exemption is one thing that lowers your taxes. He says there is regular homestead exemption, which he says goes up to a maximum of $300 per year. Then once you become 65-years old or completely disabled, Rainey tells us there's an additional homestead exemption, which you have to sign up for.
"As long as you own the property, and you abide by the road and bridge laws, and the tax laws for the state of Mississippi," County Appraiser Whitney Hodges says. "So, we do like you to go ahead and bring in your tag numbers, you know, when you come to apply for homestead. But basically, you just have to own the home and live there six months and a day as your primary residence."
Hodges says you only have to sign up one time though, unless you change your deed for some particular reason. Therefore, it's important to sign up again if a change is made in order to avoid losing the benefit. Officials say there are also conerns about property tax value right now. Rainey says his office puts a value on the property. There is a form to fill out if you disagree with the value of your property.
"And then we have what we have it assessed for," Hodges says. "Then, what we will do is we will actually go out and review your property again. And look at the information we have and look at the information you've brought. Look at the condition, the size, you know the exterior of the dwelling cause by law we can't go inside the dwelling."
The Lauderdale County Tax Assessor's Office will be open on certain Saturday's as the filing deadline approaches. The office will be open on January 26th from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., then on February 23rd from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and on March 23rd from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For more information, call the Lauderdale County Tax Assessors office at 601-482-9779.