Tax assessor still likes job
Copiah County Tax Assessor Todd Mooney says he doesn’t like taxes or politics, but still likes the job he has been doing since he was in his 20s.
Despite a lot of changes over the years, Mooney told the Wesson Lions Club he likes dealing with people, which remains the core of his work.
The Tax Assessor’s office, he explains, appraises all land and buildings and other permanent improvements that contribute value to the land. It is also responsible for appraising all furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment, and inventory used in business operations. Mobile homes are also registered in the office and it accepts applications for homestead exemptions beginning on the first working day of January through April 1.
Mooney spends most of his time visiting properties and talking to their owners about them to calculate their values. For owner-occupied residential properties in Mississippi, the assessed value is equal to 10% of market value. The rate for all other real estate is 15%. Based on its use value, agricultural land in Mississippi was priced at $3,100 per acre in 2019. Veterans, seniors 65 years of age and older and disabled persons are eligible for a homestead exemption from all ad valorem taxes up to $7,500 of assessed value of residential property for a tax credit of up to $300.00.
“Sometimes, people don’t want to talk to me, and I have to sit in my truck and sketch pictures of the property and the buildings on it,” he says. “But most of time, I am talking to people either on the road or at my office
Among changes over the years that have help tax assessors, Mooney highlights:
Fly-over photography every-three years to provide the initial basis for assessments.
Computerization of property records.
Online services that access property records, including deeds, facilitate payment of taxes and fees.
A new Mississippi law that requires property owners in rural areas to obtain building permits for construction.
“It also seems that there are a lot more weird people with whom you have to deal,” Mooney adds. “And one thing that hasn’t changed is people want to pay less taxes, which keep going up nevertheless. That will never change because even as people want to pay less, they want more services from government. You can quit asking for police and fire protection, and you won’t have to pay taxes. It won’t happen.”
Tax Assessor Todd Mooney advises Copiah County property owners to keep these dates in minds:
First working day in January – Homestead exemption filings begin and continue until April 1.
February 1 – Last day to pay real estate, personal property, and mobile home taxes without a late fee.
April 1 – Last day for businesses to file personal property renditions.
Last Monday in August – Property tax sale of all delinquent accounts.
October 1 – New millage rates go into effect.
Middle of December – Begin collecting real and personal property taxes.