Vehicle owners face car tag sale wait, higher cost

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vehicle owners looking to renew their car tags this month willhave to wait at least a week and will be paying more when they do,Lincoln County Tax Assessor/Collector Nancy Jordan said Wednesdaymorning.

“We will not be able to sell a car tag involving legislativecredit until July 8,” Jordan said.

Late Tuesday night, Mississippi lawmakers approved a budget forthe new fiscal year that starts today. Jordan said she wasexpecting to be able to continue selling tags as usual.

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However, Jordan said she was informed by the Mississippi TaxCommission that the new system for calculating the legislative tagcredit will have to be tested in the computer system before it canbe implemented. The tag credit program, one of the points ofcontention during budget negotiations, gives vehicle owners adiscount on the price of their car tags.

Due to declining revenue, the legislative tag credit percentagewas lowered from 5.5 percent of a vehicle’s value to 4.25 percent.Jordan said that means car tag costs will cost more, but she cannotgive a quote on the price yet because of the uncertainty over thetesting.

“Their car tags will be higher beginning July 1, or whenever wecan sell them,” said Jordan, who apologized for the uncertaintyover the situation.

Also, Jordan said the state prints car tag renewal notices andmails them to counties.

She said this month’s renewal notices will not be printed by thestate until July 10 and then mailed to the state’s 82 counties overthe three-day period. The local tax office then will deliver themto vehicle owners.

Jordan said Lincoln County residents can expect to receive theirtag renewal notices around the end of the month. Tags must berenewed by the end of the month to avoid a penalty.

The availability of cost information over the computer willallow the tax office to begin selling car tags on July 8, Jordansaid. She added that trailer tags can still be sold because theyare not affected by the legislative tag credit.