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Homestead exemption deadline is March 31

The deadline to file for homestead exemption is 5 p.m. March 31 and Lincoln County Tax Assessor Blake Pickering wants residents to get their applications completed on time.

If a person has purchased a home within 2016, or if a homeowner has made a change to their deed within the year 2016 in any way, he or she must refile before the deadline.

These changes include a name change, change in marital status, death of a spouse, classification of 100 percent disabled veteran status or veteran’s widowed spouse, or adding or removing land.

Anyone refiling must bring the following to the tax assessor’s office in order to complete the paperwork:

• Full name of homeowner and spouse

• Social security numbers

• Copy of driver license or state recognized ID

• 911 address

• Tag numbers for vehicles kept at the property

• Proof of disability (if applicable)

Pickering said homeowners who turned 65 prior to Jan. 1 can apply for the over-65 exemption. A valid driver license can serve as proof of age.

“People often misunderstand,” said Pickering, “that the over-65 exemption is not a 100-percent exemption, nor is the disabled exemption. What these exemptions do is take $7,500 off the assessed value of the property.”

The only full ad valorem property tax exemption is for military veterans who are certified 100 percent disabled or their widowed spouses.

Pickering said people who are first-time homeowners are not always aware that homestead exemption is not automatic —they must file for the exemption.

According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, there are two types of homestead exemption: regular and additional. The regular exemption is provided to all eligible taxpayers, and is an exemption from all ad valorem taxes assessed to the property, limited to the first $7,500 of assessed value, and limited to $300 of actual exempted tax dollars. Any taxes imposed on the property’s assessed value beyond $7,500 must be paid. The additional exemption does not place a limit on the actual exempted tax dollars.

A homestead is broadly defined as a stand-alone structure, condominium or manufactured home on owned or leased land, as long as the person living in the home is the owner.

Questions should be directed to personnel in the tax assessor’s office at the Lincoln County Government Complex or by calling 601-823-9347.