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Court ruling costs Lowndes county $800K in tax revenue

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A unanimous ruling by the Mississippi Supreme Court in May means that some Lowndes County businesses have been mistakenly paying property taxes for years.

The Commercial Dispatch reported Thursday that the ruling will cost the county more than $800,000 in property taxes paid by some businesses at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport. The ruling determined commercial properties on airport-owned land are exempt from paying county ad valorem or school taxes.

That means Airbus, Aurora Flight Sciences and part of Stark Aerospace have erroneously paid millions in property taxes. County Superintendent Lynn Wright says the funding loss will be “devastating” for schools and force the district to look at reducing personnel or programs. The president of the county Board of Supervisors, Harry Sanders, says a tax increase is likely.