Supervisors discuss property tax assessments, tax exemptions

Union County supervisors began their regular Monday meeting with a short agenda but ended up talking for nearly an hour about several matters including who does personal property tax assessments and the rationale for granting industrial ad valorem or Freeport tax exemptions.

In the assessment matter, Tax Assessor-Collector Randy Dunnam told supervisors he had learned that CKB Inc., which has been handling personal property assessments for the county, is not renewing its contract, which will expire in 30 days.

Mike Hall is the person who has been working in Union County, although the company has been doing personal property assessments for other area counties as well.

Dunnam said this is the job that was done by Steve Coker before he left to become New Albany fire chief, but there is no one in his office who can step in and do the job Hall has been doing. And even if he moved one of his staff to that position, that would only mean replacing that staffer in the original job.

Right now, Dunnam said he has no solution but needs to find one. Board president Danny Jordan asked if Dunnam had tried to persuade the company to let Hall continue and Dunnam said he had, but to no avail.

Dunnam said he will work to find a person or solution.

Dunnam also presented a request from a Master-Bilt subsidiary, Nor-Lake, for a Freeport Warehouse tax exemption. Industries are often given 10-year exemptions on ad valorem taxes as incentive to come to the area or remain here. The Freeport exemption is only for inventory stored in a local facility that will not be sold here, and in some cases was not made here. The county has granted a few Freeport exemptions over the years. Dunnam said the inventory is valued at about $546,000 and only about five percent will be sold in-state. As a result, the tax the county loses will be on only the assessed value of what is shipped.

After discussion, supervisors voted to grant the exemption as provided by law.

Next came a discussion of a 10-year request by Jackson Furniture of Myrtle on about $808,000 worth of property.

Dunnam had thought the other plant applications reported previously had been approved but learned the approval only covered their timely submission.

After more discussion and the fact being brought up that supervisors have 30 days to act on the requests, supervisors did approve all the requests except the Jackson Furniture one. The 30-day limit ends next Monday, by which supervisors will have to approve or disallow the Jackson request.

Approved industries include Diversity-Vuteq, Worthington Industries, Albany Industries and Abby Manufacturing.

 

In other business supervisors:

  • Approved voiding a 2013 tax sale pursuant to the secretary of state’s office. The unpaid tax related to a building on leased land, the former AAA Bonding Company on Carter Avenue across from the law enforcement center. The building had been removed with its owner no longer in the area, and the landowner not responsible for the relatively small amount of tax, Chancery Clerk Annette Hickey said.
  • Approved deleting an iPad from the inventory of the Union County Extension Office.
  • Approved paying medical examiner-investigator Pam Boman for 10 death investigations and deputy Kim Bedford for one.
  • Approved paying the chancery clerk $700 for Homestead applications as set out in the Mississippi Code.
  • Heard a report from County Fire Coordinator Steve Coker who said that he has 88 firefighters ready to begin training July 8 in the former National Guard Armory that the county owns and also was given permission to schedule pump tests for all Class A pumpers in the county departments in the next month or so.
  • Accepted the monthly list of surrendered vehicle tags that must, by law, be destroyed by Tax Assessor-Collector Randy Dunnam.
  • Learned from assessor-collector Dunnam that his office is wrapping up the 2013 land rolls and about to print the 2014 rolls.
  • Approved the final list of applications to lower, and to raise tax assessments for the year.
  • Approved travel and lodging for deputy coroner Rob Anderson to attend the state coroners’ convention.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be at 10 a.m. Monday, June 30.