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By Jeff Amy/Associated Press

JACKSON – Some lawmakers are trying to increase property tax exemptions for homeowners, but county supervisors are warning the effort will be “smoke and mirrors” without funding.

The House Ways and Means Committee, on a split voice vote Wednesday, approved House Bill 36 by Rep. Gary Chism, R-Columbus.

The bill mandates that homestead exemptions for most homeowners rise from $300 to $360. People over 65 would see their exemption rise to a home’s first $75,000 in value from the first $60,000.

The state would have to pass another $69 million to counties to pay for the increased exemption. Chism, though, says he doesn’t object to forcing counties and school districts to bear all or part of the costs.

County supervisors warn tax rates would probably rise to make up lost revenue.

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