Lincoln County proposes $27.4 million budget, possible tax increase

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors has proposed a $28.7 million budget with a possible tax increase for Fiscal Year 2022.

The tax levy will be a millage decrease of 1.84 mills, with the proposed millage rate at 109.38 mills, including both the county and schools. The rate for FY2021 was 111.22. Although the rate is decreasing, many properties have been assessed at a higher value, meaning county residents may pay more in ad valorem taxes on homes, vehicle tags, utilities, business fixtures and equipment, and rental real property.

For the next fiscal year, the county projects revenue of $28,767,564 — $23,477,940 for the county and $5,289,624 for the schools. Seventy-four percent — 74.3%, $21,379,889 — is proposed to be financed through an ad valorem tax levy.

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The county is now operating with total projected revenue of $27,414,464. Of that, 73.1% or $20.02 million is obtained through ad valorem taxes — tax levied in proportion to the estimated value of the goods or transactions concerned.

If the Board levied a millage rate of 52.04 and the school district levied a rate of 52.11 — for a total of 104.2 — the same revenue would be generated as the previous year. The previous millage rates were 57.33 and 53.89, respectively — a total of 111.22.


What does this mean for property owners?

Millage is the amount of tax for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. One mill is $1 of tax per $1,000 of assessed value.

For example, a homeowner might receive a property tax bill where the county government levied five mills, the school district levied 15 mills and the city levied 10 mills — 30 mills total, or $30 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed value. If the most recent appraised value of a home if $100,000, a homeowner could perform the following calculation to determine their effective tax rate:

30 mills divided by 1,000 = 0.03 millage rate

0.03 x $100,000 = $3,000 property tax bill, or 3% of the home’s assessed value.

In Mississippi, properties are assessed at a percentage of true value:

  • Class I — Single-family owner-occupied, residential real property, 10%
  • Class II — All other real property not Class I or IV, including rental property, 15%
  • Class III — Personal property not Class IV or V, 15%
  • Class IV — Public service property assessed by state or county (does not include railroad or airline property), 30%
  • Class V — Motor vehicles, 30%

In Lincoln County, the median single-family property value is $99,600. If the homeowner lives in the home, its tax rate is 10% of the real value (Class I), meaning taxes would be assessed on $9,960 of the property.

With a combined millage rate of 109.38, tax would be calculated at 10.938% of the taxable value of $9,960. So the effective tax on a property worth $99,600 would be $1,089.43.

This does not take into account applicable exemptions. Persons who are age 65 or older or who are disabled are exempt from ad valorem taxes up to $7,500 of assessed value, according to the Mississippi Department of Revenue. Other exemptions may apply for homestead, etc. Visit online or the Lincoln County Tax Assessor’s office if you are not sure if you qualify for an exemption.


Public hearing

A public hearing will be conducted at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, during the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The meeting will take place in the County Boardroom.

“Any county citizen may attend the public hearing and will be allowed to speak for a reasonable amount of time and offer tangible evidence before any vote is taken on the proposed budget,” Board President and Ward 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown said.