Four Lee County municipalities face tax-dollar decline

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Four Lee County municipalities will lose money on property tax unless they raise millage rates this coming fiscal year, according to new data provided Monday by the Lee County Tax Assessor’s office.
Assessor Mark Weathers presented 2012 values on real and personal property for all of Lee County and its municipalities.
As a whole, the county has $13.8 million more in combined assessed value that it can tax to generate governmental revenues. Five of its nine cities also saw increases: Baldwyn, Guntown, Saltillo, Sherman and Tupelo. All are located in the northern half of the county.
But assessed property value declined this year in the southern communities of Nettleton, Plantersville, Shannon and Verona.
Shannon and Verona saw the biggest drops, losing $303,486 and $468,651, respectively.
Weathers blamed the decrease, in part, on the hobbled housing market.
“This is a reappraisal year where usually your property values increase,” Weathers said, “but the values have dropped since 2007, plus we don’t have enough new construction to overcome the difference between the depreciation of value.”
Those numbers represent assessed value only, not actual tax dollars, which communities collect based on millage rates.
Tupelo’s property tax rate is 32.47 mills. That means for every $1 of assessed property value, an owner pays $0.003247.
For a $150,000 property, that’s $487.
County, city and town officials will use the data to project anticipated tax revenues and set governmental budgets for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
The public can view the list of newly assessed properties in the Board of Supervisors conference room inside the Lee County Justice Center.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com