County eyes $1.2 million drop in tax revenue
Coahoma County got the estimated number of tax receipts this week and they were down.
Projected assessed values this year are expected to total $208 million, compared to $219 in assessed values in 2021.
Tax assessor Ann Williams that will translate to about $1.2 million in less revenue as the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors begins developing a budget later this summer.
Williams told supervisors where the drop in taxed property revenue falls, citing a $3.5 million drop in property taxes, $600,000 in car tags and the remaining drop spread across property inside factories. , in farms and the new tax law relating to the rental-purchase of equipment, shares and bonds.
Williams said she double-checked the numbers, and new farmland assessment ratios released by the state two years ago are another factor. She said this formula should reduce land values for another two years before stabilizing.
“That’s not good news,” Dist said. 2 Supervisor Pat Davis.
Williams pointed out that these are projections and that these estimates are set by law for budgeting purposes and the actual dollars raised are always different — sometimes more, sometimes less.
That means the county will have to cut its budget, raise taxes, or find other sources of revenue.
Dist. 4 Board Chairman Johnny Newson said burned homes don’t generate revenue when claimed by the state for unpaid taxes.
“We have to find a way to get this property back on the tax rolls,” Newson said. “We also need to look to get people to pay for their car tags.”
The Delta has a chronic problem with people going to buy car tags in counties where they can be bought cheaper. Not buying tags in Coahoma County also affects city and county school tax revenue.
Dist. 1 Supervisor Paul Pearson said many people claim a homestead exemption on the most expensive property they own but don’t actually live there.
The county also saw a decline in casino revenue.
And the county — like everyone else — pays higher prices for everything it buys because of inflation.
Payroll, road service expenses, and law enforcement are the county’s major budget items.
In September of last year, the county passed a budget of $29,209,743.92 and 30% or $8,762,923.17 was raised by ad valorum or estate taxes. The county had a budget of $28,865,743.63 for 2020.
Supervisors also once again spoke about ways to collect more than $2 million in unpaid court fines and unpaid property taxes.
In other cases:
The county was approached by Aurelia Jones-Taylor, Josephine Rhymes and Debra Brown about a proposed park and aquatic center in the town of Clarksdale.
The trio were hesitant to say the exact cost of an indoor pool, tennis courts, walking track, skateboard park, amphitheater with jumbo-tron and exercise equipment outside. Jones-Taylor said the group was already soliciting donations and seeking funds from the city, county and state to raise grants that would complete the project.
She also said the project has the potential to transform Clarksdale and Coahoma County and that they are seeking a memorandum of understanding with the county.
Board attorney Tom Ross said supervisors need to see the wording of that memorandum of understanding before committing to the project.
The board said it supports the concept and would be happy to review the numbers when they are confirmed.
The Sasse Street Park project has already been presented to the City of Clarksdale, but they too – while supporting the idea – are looking for ways to fund the project.