Qualified homeowners consider lower tax bills

Writer: Keri Collins Lewis

MSU-EXT-AgCommNews

Homeowners have until March 31 to file for a homestead exemption, which may help lower their annual tax bills.

Jason Camp, an instructor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service Center for Government and Community Development, said qualified homeowners may fall into one of three exemption categories, based on age, disability or veteran status. They may be eligible for a substantial tax exemption if they met these requirements on Jan. 1:

— Applicants must be considered head of a family.

— Applicants must own the property and reside on the property on Jan. 1 of the year the application is made.

— Property must be the primary residence of the applicants.

— Applicants, their spouse and any joint owners must be bona fide residents of the state.

— Applicants must be in compliance with Mississippi income tax requirements.

— All vehicles owned by or in the possession of the applicants must have Mississippi license plates from the county in which they apply.

Applicants can file for a homestead exemption on only one residence in the state.

Camp said residents usually file for this exemption once.

“They must reapply if they purchase a new home, change the use of the property, a spouse dies, they turn 65 or become 100 percent disabled, they experience a change in marital status, or they experience a change in where they live, called a change in home occupancy,” Camp said.

Property taxes play a vital role in Mississippi communities by funding education, fire protection, law enforcement, recreation and infrastructure.

To learn more about homestead exemption or apply for a homestead exemption, call Tax Assessor’s office at 662-773-3694 or visit it in the Winston County Courthouse. Applications are taken until March 31 only. If you have further questions, any one may contact for more information Darlene Bane Winston County Tax Assessor/Collector.

The tax assessor of the county in which the property is located determines the property’s assessed value.

Extension Publication 2833, “Understanding Mississippi Property Taxes,” is available online at http://gcd.msucares.com/resources. For more information, contact Camp at 662-325-3141 or Jason.Camp@msstate.edu.