County expecting record mil value
By Dwayne Bremer, Staff Writer
Jul 14, 2017, 16:24
For the first time ever, the value of a mil in Hancock County will exceed $500,000 this fiscal year as residential and commercial development continue to rise, Hancock County Tax Assessor Collector Jimmy Ladner said Thursday.
"This is new value that is added to the rolls," Ladner said. "We did not conduct reappraisals. We have seen a consistent increase in our mil value over the past few years. This year is the highest it has ever been."
Prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the value of a mil in Hancock County was $363,000. In 2012, it was $453,000.
This year's mil for all of Hancock County is expected to be $504,000 which is up $12,000 from last year, Ladner said.
In the cities, where property owners pay both county and municipal taxes, values are also up.
In Bay St. Louis, the mil value has gained $8,000 in value from $116,000 last year to $124,000 this year, Ladner said.
Diamondhead will show a small increase in its mil value, growing $1,000 to 89,000.
Waveland's mil value will remain the same at $62,000, he said.
Ladner said a big reason for the increase in Bay St. Louis is the redevelopment of the downtown area.
"All of our waterfront areas in the county have seen increased construction," Ladner said. "In Old Town Bay St. Louis, there has been a lot of activity in the past few years."
Ladner said he believes the county will continue to grow.
"The second home market is picking up and we are seeing more insurance companies here now," he said. "The more competition drives prices down, which makes it easier to build."
Over the next few months, local municipalities will be finalizing their respective budgets for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
If the millage rates remain the same, the county, Bay St. Louis, and Diamondhead would all see increased revenues this year.
Hancock County, for instance, levied 49.01 mils. If the county levied the same millage next year, its revenues would increase by about $600,000.
The extra income should come in handy because of a mistake in a budget item from the previous board of supervisors, cost the county about $700,000 last year.
The fiscal year for cities and counties in Mississippi begins in October.
All cities and counties must have their respective budgets finalized by Sept. 15.