Mississippi Property Taxes
Overview of Mississippi Property Taxes
Every homeowner in Mississippi is obligated to pay property taxes every year. Mississippi property taxes are a vital source of revenue for local governments, allowing them to provide services like recreation, fire protection, and law enforcement. Property taxes are administered and collected by local taxing authorities. Every year, the state of Mississippi and its local governments collect $26 billion in total revenue. Of that, $3 billion or 11.37% comes from property taxes. Generally, Mississippi is a low tax state as indicated by the lower percentage of property taxes compared to the total revenue collected.
On average, homeowners in Mississippi pay $6.50 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes. The average Mississippi property tax bill adds up to $861 although the figure changes for homeowners across different counties in the state. For instance, homeowners in Adams County pay an average of $577 while those in Desoto County pay $1,230.
How do Mississippi property taxes work? It starts with the county Tax Assessor appraising your property for purposes of taxation. Mississippi state laws require that residential properties be assessed at their "true value", or the amount an unobligated buyer would pay for the property. Tax Assessors must revalue real property at least once every four years. Once the true value has been established, the figure is multiplied by the "assessment ratio" to get the assessed value. The assessment ratio depends on the classification of property according to its use. For residential property, that ratio is 10% of true value. If, for instance, your home has a true value of $150,000, the assessed value would be ($150,000 x 10%) $15,000. The assessed value is then multiplied by the tax rates to get your annual Mississippi property tax bill.
Mississippi property tax rates are expressed in mill rates. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed value or $ .001. For example, 50 mills are equal to $0.05. Tax rates are set by the local taxing authorities depending on their budgetary requirements. The rates change, but the state limits tax rate increases to 10%. Assuming your taxing authority has a mill rate of 50 and your home has an assessed value of $15,000, your tax bill would add up to ($15,000 x 0.05) $750. In a nutshell, True value x Assessment Ratio x Millage Rate = Mississippi property taxes.
If you are planning to buy a home in Mississippi and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Mississippi Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Mississippi Property Tax Due Dates
In Mississippi, the fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. Properties are assessed and classified according to their use as of January 1. Tax statements are mailed to homeowners in December. The state of Mississippi allows you to appeal property taxes if you have a justifiable cause and evidence indicating that the assessor's valuation of your property does not reflect its true market value. You can review your property appraisal with the County Assessor for the current year until June. If you and the Assessor fail to agree on valuation, you can appeal to the county Board of Supervisors in writing by August 1. However, the appeal only applies to valuation and classification, not the tax rates.
But when are property taxes due in Mississippi? Mississippi property taxes are due on February 1 each year for property assessed the preceding year. If the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, it is pushed to the next business day. The taxes are payable to the county or municipality in which your property is located. It is noteworthy that failure to receive a tax statement does not excuse you from complying with Mississippi property tax due dates.
Taxes that remain unpaid after February 2 accrue interest at a rate of 1% per month. Delinquent taxes become a lien on your property by August and can result in a Tax Sale, a public auction in which the highest bidder takes your property. The state offers you a two-year "redemption period" from the date of purchase for you to pay all delinquent Mississippi property taxes plus interest accrued at a rate of 1.5% per month. If the redemption period elapses, you lose the title of your home to the purchaser.
Mississippi Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the option of appealing property taxes, the state of Mississippi also offers several exemptions to eligible homeowners. The most common are the homestead and senior exemptions. Under these exemptions, homeowners can potentially save hundreds of dollars in Mississippi property taxes. However, even eligible homeowners are still subject to Mississippi property tax due dates.
Mississippi Homestead Exemption
Mississippi's homestead exemption provides eligible homeowners with a tax credit of up to $300 on their Mississippi property taxes. To qualify, you must own and live in the property as of January 1 of the year you are applying, be using the property as your principal residence, and meet certain income limit requirements. Under the homestead exemption, you can also protect 160 acres or $75,000 in equity, whichever is lower, from creditors in case of bankruptcy.
Mississippi Senior Citizens Exemption
Mississippi's senior exemption is an extension of the homestead exemption in which eligible homeowners are exempt from Mississippi property taxes for amounts of up to $7,500 of assessed value. To qualify, you must be aged at least 65, be a legal resident of Mississippi, and be using the property as your primary residence. You must also apply for this exemption in your respective county on or before April 1.
Other Mississippi property tax exemptions include the disabled veteran's exemption in which a veteran with 100% service-related disability is exempt from all property taxes on the assessed value of their principal residence. Eligibility requirements include honorable discharge from military service. The surviving, unmarried spouse of an eligible veteran also qualifies for this exemption. More information about this and more exemptions can be found on the Mississippi Department of Revenue's website.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Mississippi
If you have reasons and evidence showing the assessor may have assessed your property's value too high, you can appeal property taxes and potentially lower your Mississippi property tax bill. Appealing has saved hundreds and even thousands of dollars for homeowners. The process starts with visiting or contacting the Assessor's Office with your objections. This is an informal meeting in which many differences can be ironed out without having to file an official appeal. However, if the meeting ends in disagreement, you can file an official appeal with the County Board of Supervisors. More information about the appeal process can be sought from your county's Chancery Clerk.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Mississippi though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Hinds County
To help you understand how to appeal your property taxes in Mississippi, the following is a breakdown of the process in Hinds County, Mississippi's most populous county.
Obtain your assessment
Homeowners in Hinds County can obtain their assessment details from the tax statement. Alternatively, you can consult the County Tax Assessor.
Determine if you are over-assessed
Your tax bill is based on your property's true market value. For residential property, the assessed value is 10% of your propertys market value. To determine if you are over-assessed, search for sales of similar units within your locality using TaxProper's search tool.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The forms you need to appeal your property taxes, otherwise known as the Notice of Appeal or Objection form, will be provided to you at the County Tax Assessor's Office.
File property tax appeal
In Hinds County, filing a property tax appeal involves making a formal written appeal to the Board of Supervisors. Call the Board's office after the first Monday in July to know the hearing date for your appeal.
Prepare for hearing
The Tax Assessor's valuation is presumed correct and the burden of proof lies with the appellant. You must therefore present solid evidence supporting your opinion of value. This can include but is not limited to appraisal reports, photos of your property, and comparable sales of similar properties.
The County Board of Supervisors requires you or your representative to attend a property tax appeal hearing. Failure to attend a hearing constitutes an involuntary withdrawal.
Appeal the decision
Decisions by the County Board of Supervisors can be appealed to the Mississippi Circuit Court.
Property Tax Information for Mississippi Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each Mississippi county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Mississippi county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|Jefferson Davis County||$99,854||$417||$4.20|
|Pearl River County||$130,061||$819||$6.30|