CATEGORY: Alcorn County
Alcorn property to be reappraised for first time in 11 years
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH For the first time in more than 10 years, Alcorn County is conducting a property reappraisal.
The countywide reappraisal, the first since 1985, is being done to comply with the Mississippi State Tax Commission’s standards and regulations regarding the true market value of real estate, said Jimbo Wilkerson, Alcorn County tax assessor.
Ad valorem property taxes are based on the appraised value of real estate. Some property is expected to increase in value while others, because of economic or physical deterioration over the last decade, will decline in value, Wilkerson said.
Overall, the county’s total appraised value is expected to increase, he said. “Since 1985, we have seen a 21 percent increase in market values,” he said.
Wilkerson said that while appraisals will go up on the whole, tax rates should not go up by much. The board of supervisors and city aldermen cannot raise budgets by more than 10 percent from the previous year, he said. Since millage is based on total assessed values, if appraisals go up, less millage is needed to bring in the same amount.
All counties were forced to conduct complete reappraisals in 1985 and state law mandated that countywide reappraisals be conducted every four years. The Legislature decided that that would be too costly, so the law was changed to require that tax assessors update reappraisals on an annual basis, Wilkerson said.
In order to keep reappraisals current annually, the tax assessor rides the roads and tries to keep up with new construction as best as possible, he said. But this method is not 100 percent accurate, he said.
In addition, the State Tax Commission is required to conduct sales/assessment ratio studies each year on each county. The state obtains copies of all new deeds recorded each year and contacts the buyers and sellers to determine true market value of properties.
The reappraisal process, which began Feb. 1, will probably be concluded in October, Wilkerson said. There are 18,000 parcels of land and houses to be reviewed, he said.
Appraisers will be required to inspect every structure in the county but will not necessarily have to go inside, Wilkerson said. All field appraisers will be able to provide proper identification. “I encourage everyone to call the tax assessor’s office if they have any questions or concerns,” he said. “I strongly recommend checking credentials.”
Later this summer, letters will be mailed to those property owners whose reappraisals have been completed, Wilkerson said. They will be notified of the new values and given a date to discuss challenges.
Anyone with questions about the reappraisal project can contact the tax assessor’s office at 286-7733.