Some Homestead exemptions revoked
By Ellis C. Cuevas
Mar 15, 2013, 19:04
More than 500 Hancock County residents this week received notices disallowing their Homestead exemptions, according to Hancock County Chancery Clerk Timothy Kellar and Hancock County Tax Assessor/Collector Jimmie Ladner, Jr.
"Each year we usually have a few disallowance notices from the Department of Revenue rejecting Homestead exemptions," Ladner said, "but this year we have been flooded with rejections."
The Mississippi Department of Revenue gives the final approval of Homestead exemptions after the local county tax assessors, boards of supervisors and chancery clerks' offices submit them each year.
The Department of Revenue had initiated a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) computer system and has gathered records going all the way back from last year to the early 1980s, Kellar said.
Homestead Exemptions were introduced by the Mississippi Legislature in the early 1980s to help state residents by reducing homeowners property taxes.
According to the Department of Revenue, "Homestead exemption is a privilege offered to eligible taxpayers by the state of Mississippi. ...
“The regular exemption is given to all eligible taxpayers.
“The exemption is from all ad valorem taxes assessed to property, limited to the first $7,500 of assessed value, and limited to three hundred dollars ($300) of actual exempted tax dollars.
“Any ad valorem taxes imposed on the assessed value of property over the first $7,500 must be paid. Assessed value is determined by the tax assessor of the county in which property is located. Homestead property is usually classified as Class 1 property with a 10 percent assessment rate; however, if any income producing activity is located on the property, it may be classified as Class 2 with a 15 percent assessment rate. Class 1 property is not necessarily homestead property."
Both Ladner and Kellar said their offices are working very hard on behalf of homeowners who have received the notices, but both say that some of the rejections are legitimate.
Among the reasons some rejection notices were sent:
• Initially a Homestead exemption was filed by a husband and wife, then one of them died. When that happens the Homestead exemption must be applied for again by the survivor to keep it from being rejected.
• The Homestead exemption has been rejected because either one of the two owes sales taxes, income taxes, fines, or any other state a debt. That can cause the loss of a Homestead exemption until the matter is settled with the Department of Revenue.
• If one of the applicants has a Homestead exemption in Hancock County and a spouse in another county in the state, or another state.
• For filing a federal income tax reporting the homeowner is a resident of another state.
Tax Assessor Ladner reported his office has an additional 300 rejection notices from the Department of Revenue he is holding in his office right now.
He said they are hoping to work something out with a solution with the Department of Revenue, in order that the homeowners do not have to come in.
Both Ladner and Kellar say their staffs are working with those who have received the rejection notices, and there may be some which could have been sent in error. If you think you have received a notice in error from Kellar's office, call 228-467-5404, or go to the office located at 854 Highway 90, Suite B, Bay St. Louis.
If you think you have received a notice in error from Ladner's office, call 228-467-4425, or go to 854 Highway 90, Suite C, Bay St. Louis.
Whenever objections are filled they are passed on to the Hancock County Board of Supervisors to act on and then forwarded to the state Department of Revenue, Kellar said.