LOWNDES COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – One would think it would be easy to find out if the county has new property on its tax rolls.
However, that’s not the case and the next step to find the answer in Lowndes County will be settled in a courtroom.
The Lowndes County School District wants to raise its millage rate, better known as raising taxes.
If the school district wants to raise the millage more than seven mills, it most hold a referendum for voters to decide.
How all of this is based on how much new real property there is on the tax rolls.
The school district says there is enough new property on the tax rolls that it would not have to hold a referendum.
County leaders disagree.
Why??? The main issue boils down to a fee in lieu. This is a tax break the county gives businesses and industry to lure them to the area.
The school says once that fee in lieu agreement is done, generally after ten years, then that business becomes new property on the county’s tax roll.
Supervisors contend businesses are paying a third of their assessed property taxes during the fee in lieu and once that agreement is done the business will pay it’s full share of property taxes.
Because of that one-third payment, county leaders say that means the business should not be considered a new property.