Property taxes – will there ever be any relief?

By now many of you have received the bill for your 2006 property taxes. For those of you who were unfortunate enough to suffer reappraisal, the bill may have left you in shock.

 

Remember when our city and county leaders, and our school board, took such pride in announcing that there would be no increase in the tax rate? Do you understand why now? It’s simple, of course. Due to the reappraisals, the amount of taxes they will receive will be far greater than in the past.

 

One has to question whether our elected officials care that the standard of living of the average citizen is steadily deteriorating, and that their appropriation of a larger and larger share of the homeowners’ income is making matters that much worse.

 Tax cuts, not tax increases, spur economic development and create individual wealth. Do you suppose our leaders are aware of that fact? Do you think they care? 

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Published in: on December 4, 2007 at 8:26 pm  Comments (32)  

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  1. My property taxes almost doubled! Being retired you can bet I was in major shock. I live in the county and my property went from $836.01 to $1652.15.

    In the past year, the high cost of living has been unbelievable. A gallon of milk is almost $5.00. A gallon of gas is almost $3.00 and projected to go to $4.00. There are a lot of senior citizens in this town who are having a real hard time, not having enough food to last the month. Families with several children are having even harder times. Try and put yourselves in the lower income families’ place. Not enough food to eat, can’t pay the gas bill or light bill. Theft is becoming more prevalent. People just can’t make it on their income with prices steadily going up. The middle class and upper class citizens gripe about the cost, but they are still able to make it fairly easily. I suppose those are the ones the officials hang out with, so the others are out of sight, out of mind. Some of these other unfortunate people just simply cannot make their dollars stretch far enough. Some are doing without.

    Our officials don’t seem to realize that these people do not make the salaries that they do and that the majority of the people in this town don’t either. The affluent folks have no idea how hard it is to clothe and feed three or four children or more, plus parents on $25,000. a year and some make much less. Some are taking care of grandparents, as well.

    Our city and county officials need to take a hard look at cutting back on things that don’t have to be done and giving the citizens a break on taxes or these reappraisals. Have you looked at the foreclosures in the newspaper lately? We have people already losing their homes to foreclosures because they can’t pay the notes. Sure, the rich folks will rush down and pick up the property in the auctions and they will make more money in the long run, but what happens to these poor people who can’t make ends meet with the high cost of living and now they have lost their homes, too?

    Somehow, somewhere, our elected officials need to start thinking about what is best for the people! Right now, people need to have costs cut, not raised. Cut back on some of the frivolities and give people a break.
    Right now was the worst possible time to come out with higher reappraisals on properties. Kicking people when they are already down is pretty darned low.

    Someone needs to start caring about the citizens of Vicksburg and Warren county.

  2. I believe the property tax has affected the fact that no one hasn’t moved here at all. Why? Simple if you have a place that consistantly raises prices and people talk. Reminder: city and county haven’t growed over twenty years. City and County according to US census is 14. Political leaders who have abusing property taxes aren’t going to attract new home owners. Since this town has people who don’t care they don’t attract young families. Look at Madison,Ridgeland and now Byram is booming. Bet thier property taxes are lower. And what about these homes that haven’t been sold?

  3. Addendum: over 321 homes have been foreclosed upon in the Redwood area. Also HUD Homes have popped up on the foreclosed lists. Now the Vicksburg Post hasn’t made the fact that Subprime has affected this market. Now on Live on the Klondyke Harley Caldwell and her son have been deining the fact that has affect this market. Both of their statements need to be challenged. Why? U don’t use the radio airwaves to decieve the public. They play the fact that subprime only effects the metro areas like Los Angeles or New York. Mississippi overall has 33% foreclosure rate. And how many more homes are being foreclosed upon in this market which aren’t being made public?

  4. I have recieved a healthy increase in my taxes this year. I was anticipating an increase but this is a 50% increase over the prior year.

    Incredible.

    Count me among those who now question the value.

    You say you want a revolution?

    Chuck, in response to you comments on Harley and Richie Caldwell, please feel free to call in and challenge them . It is my experience that they are very knowledgeable about this market. Richie will be on Monday and Tuesday upcoming. Harley will be on Friday the 14th. The number to call in is 601-661-7352.

    Also, Richard Holland, Warren County Tax Assessor will be on the show Thursday, the 13th. Feel free to call in then too.

  5. FYI, the increase in my taxes were county and school. City was basically the same, within $10.

    Chew on that.

  6. Taxes on the Adolph Rose building went from $1,797.94 to $5,432.47. And that was after I challenged the appraisal and got some “relief.” Taxes on some other properties I own tripled. So I’ve got some news for the city – they just bought themselves some property, because I’m not paying the taxes – they’re not worth it, and they’re going to revert back to city ownership in three years. I wonder how many other people are being hard pressed because of this relentless over-taxation? I could kick myself because I fell for the city’s line back when they were trying to legalize casinos – we can lower property taxes, they said. So I got on the bandwagon. Ha. Like all government entities, ours can lie with the best of them. Revolution? Let’s do it!

  7. Hey Malcolm, we just had a “Revolution” Warren County style…The good obedient servants of the county just elected the “Kings”…now when the School Board election rolls around we can reinstall the “Jesters”…Think about how much your taxes would be without the “Gaming”…I too helped after the “Facts” said our taxes would go down under “Gaming”…Well just wait till we get two more Casinos…Now be a good servant and don’t rock the boat. Try to be positive and not negative. If the schools did not have all that “Gaming” money we would be in trouble more than we are now…Be thankful for all the money that has been put mostly underground in infrastructer that you can’t see, surley you don’t want sewage running down our streets like other towns or streets that aren’t safe to drive on(you know all those towns without Gaming)…If we had not spent all this money where you can’t see it people would think the city was wasting these funds…No Malcolm, count your blessings, that Vicksburg and Warren County are being governed by the folks that are above the need for input and any thought that the citizens might have. Oh, by the way, hang in there. When you get the debris moved next to your property and a sidewalk from block to block you will “get to pay more”…chw

  8. CH, my building is worth salvage value until that mess next door is moved. You can’t convince the powers of that fact, of course. Just wish LL had a building on the other side – then we’d see some action!

    I am glad for all the money the casinos have put into the local coffers (all and more taken from the populace, of course) that have been used to better the town/county. I just believe we could have made most of the improvements and cut taxes, too. Face it: There is no entity more wasteful than a government entity, and they only clean up their act when the citizens raise enough hell. Revolution? Yep. Count me in – a “citizen” revolution.

    And the schools? If they actually are allowing some students to call their teachers “MFs” and are condoning it because it’s their “culture,” I’m for cutting the public school budget in half and using the savings to promote private schools.

  9. I’m all for a revolution against the County Government & Tax assessor unless they immediately reverse the tax increases. My commercial property taxes almost doubled yet I can’t get a tenant even at a reduced rate. Does the assesor take in consideration for non-income producing property? Even the occupied buildings are paying substantially below what would be considered a decent rate of return all over downtown! We can make a difference by starting a revolution now!

  10. We need someone to step forward who has the time, energy and motivation to represent the taxpayers. Any ideas?

  11. Subprime mortgages definitely effect our area. We’ve got more than our share of “shady” mortgage companies in our community that made “shaky” loans after “massaging” credit reports. Now the buyer can’t afford his mortgage due to their criminal activites. Foreclosures are up in our area just as other areas of the country. Don’t know what kind of bull some “knowledgeable” realtors are putting out but that’s the truth of the matter. If you don’t believe it, it’s not real hard to do research on the internet.

  12. The property taxes for my home increased greatly. According to the tax assessor, my property has increased in value by >$40,000 in 3 years. Upon my inquiry, I was told that only the outside of the property was viewed. I explained that I had done nothing different to the outside of the house since the last appraisal. I was told the neighborhood is taken into account of the appraisal. I explained that some of the neighboring businesses in my neighborhood include rooming houses a drug and prostitution house. I really can not see how that can cause my property value to INCREASE.

    By the way, if any of you are wondering if the police department and the mayor’s office are aware of these illegal activities in my neighborhood, the answer is a most definite, “YES.”

  13. By the way the subprime mess which is alive and well in this marketplace hasn’t been reported by the Vicksburg Post at all. Which in my opioin is doing a disgraceful public service with this subject. I can tell you from a Google search that subprime has affected HUD Homes for I found two pages on the web.
    But I don’t like the fact that realtors would get on the radio waves and say things are booming. Here’s another fact: you know subprime is affecting the commercial real estate market? I wouldn’t be surprise if small tight non competitive markets like Vicksburg who charge over a million for commercial property are being told NO becouse. And Subprime has affected CBL Associates stock prices. It had once been a high price stock; it’s now in the high twenties.
    I do agree with Malcom that the taxpayers all of them need to be repersented.

  14. If the city and county have so much money from local taxes,why haven’t more sidewalks been into more places. Perception is everything. I can tell you honestly that the people of Madison are always laughing at Vicksburg becouse of its backward approach on things. This port deserves to be laugh at. Since they’re booming and all this port can do is try to say thier booming no wonder Madison is laughing at this place.
    On real estate this small market is overpriced. Like in Jackson Metro area some business offer incentives to pay for housing. Case in point: WJTV held a raffle for a home in Brandon; one of the hospitols agreed to pay one of thier employees mortgages. I haven’t seen one selfish business here do something inovative. One more thing has subprime mortgage greatly affected the Housing Authority? I can tell from what I’ve learned about Subprime and it affects,senior citizens,minorities have been greatly affected by this.

  15. here’s an idea: why not call in the State Auditor to see how much money has been taken. Just an idea. Becouse the city and county haven’t been checked.

  16. I just saw on CNBC that Mississippi is one of only four or five states in the country where foreclosures exceed 4%. Mississippi is the only state in the southeast where foreclosures are running this high.

  17. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, … a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation… That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    It is common for the worst to happen just after an election. By the time the next election rolls around we have forgotten the injustice, and go with the comfortable and familiar names.

    What are the causes the would impel us to separation? If the citizens of Warren County were to ‘revolt’, what path would be taken?

  18. First, we kill all the lawyers…

  19. Malcom that’s amazing! 4% doesn’t sound good.
    First the lawyers. Next the corrupt realtors. Force them to explain themselves for punishment!

  20. Wow! How amazing that there are grown, fairly well educated people willing to make comments about everything from taxes to foreclosures and giving without first doing the research to see if they need the broad black brush or a small black brush. Statutes control the levying of taxes. Tax assessors appraise property. Boards of Supervisors set millage rates within the confines of statutory restrictions. During the four years I was a supervisors, a public notice was made each year welcoming the public to participate in the budget process. I do not remember seeing any of the above commenters there. I invite you all to attend the next budget process and contribute to the program.

    The foreclosure situation is mostly in the sub-prime lending area…. that economic group which has the poorest credit and hardest time getting financing. Since Mississippi is one of the poorest states, the proportion of its citizens with these types of mortgages will be higher…. do the math.

    Before assuming that businesses in this area do not help their employees, remember the biblical teaching that when you do good deeds do them in secret…. touting your generosity is called marketing.

  21. Petesy do a Google search on foreclosures in this area alone. I found that house auctions are taking place and in the Redwood area over 321 homes have been foreclosed on. Second the Post hasn’t reported on the subprime lending problem and Mayor Laurence Leyens hasn’t talked about it. I’m wondering how many low incomers in this market have been affected. A few weeks ago I did another Googe search I found two pages of HUD homes up for foreclosures.
    Now in the real estate community here in town there seems to be denial that that a subprime problem exists. Becouse on Live From the Klondyke the Mayor and some realtors are trying to say this place is booming. Well it isn’t. I don’t like the fact how some in this community think they can turn blind eye with this. Becouse the subprime has spilled over into commercial real estate as well.

  22. Its like Petesy said. Subprime loans were made to the people with poor credit scores, tight ratios and most times was the only possible way they could get financing. If the buyer was determined to buy they were advised to keep their notes paid on time so they could refinance at the end of 2 years. Well, guess what? They had bad credit before and they just added a big debt. It will just get worst and all chances of refinancing are nil. After the first 2 years their interest rate will go up every year until they lose the house. Why did the government allow this type of loan to be made? It’s not the realors fault. They don’t set up the financing. SHould they refuse to write the contract? That won’t happen. HUD homes are made with FHA guaranteed loans. Buyer will get pretty much the lowest interest rate available. You can’t get an FHA loan with subprime financing. A person getting subprime financinga can’t qualify for FHA financing. There’s not 321 homes in foreclosure in Redwood MS. I would love to see list.

  23. I read in the paper a few days ago that across the country property taxes went up. But in Indiana a lot of homeowners had a Boston Tea Party and threw thier property tax issues in the local river. Now this article pointed out that whoever sets the property taxes are slow to respond to the slump in the housing market. And this housing slump from what I learned on CNBC and Fox Business is going to continue for a while. Some say buy a house now. But I would rather wait for a while. Also some home contractor have been undercutting houses prices too.

  24. Chuck, as I understand it, the county reappraises one-fourth of the properties every 4 years. You can bet that once an appraisal is increased, it’ll be almost impossible to have it lowered. Just like all governments, ours will try to spend all it can steal from the populace, especially while we slave under the yoke of the present leadership in Vicksburg/Warren County.

  25. that’s right. The exscuse I’ve been hearing on the am show is that there aren’t enough houses. Well drive around and see the houses that haven’t sold. The realtors keep talking a booming. Well I haven’t seen much of it. I wouldn’t be surprise if property taxes has hendered growth too.

  26. When I was working, I didn’t worry too much about taxes but now I am retired and things aren’t quite the same. I remember vividly how we were promised that property taxes would go down if casinos were allowed to come to Vicksburg. I haven’t seen “anything” go down! Everything has gone up. It has been well over ten years since the first casino came. Isn’t it about time we got a break?

    No doubt, I am in a much better position than many of Vicksburg’s senior citizens and I, quite frankly, don’t understand how they are making it, much less paying this rediculous raise in property taxes. A gallon of gas is close to $3.00 a gallon and a gallon of milk is over $4.00. Medical insurance supplements and prescription co-pays are out of sight! Some of these citizens only get Social Security checks of $600. or $700. each month. Can you imagine living on that? Mayor Leyens probably pays that for a suit!! What on earth are
    these people going to do? Lose the homes they worked so hard their whole lives to pay for? Someone please answer this for me.

  27. Betty, you ought to know by now that no one in government is going to give a d… about these people. The morals of the leaders of our governemnt and our corporations have sunk to the lowest level in our history. We are a corrupt country. These fixed-income people had best hope that we can elect decent leaders who are smart enough to recognize the reasons for our decay and make the hard decisions necessary to change course. I doubt even that, though, will save the retirees and the poor – we are all in for very hard times, and they will suffer most of all.

  28. Someone needs to worry about them! The honest ones will do without proper food and prescriptions or hopefully they will have family that will help them. The poorest ones will be out on the streets stealing and/or killing to get what they need. They won’t do without! They will take a toll on all of us, taking what they need. There won’t be enough police or sheriff’s deputies to stop them when it comes to putting food on their tables for their children.

    I don’t think the general public in this country believe that this will happen and are worried too much about it. We are a very spoiled bunch in the U. S. We have had it so good for so long, that we think no matter what, everything will be okay and that nothing really bad can happen here.

    The handwriting is on the wall. Look around. There are already people who can’t afford to buy food and prescriptions. I read an article the other day where many senior citizens are taking their medicines every other day rather than every day in order to try and make them go furter. Some people are only eating oatmeal instead of nourishing meals. This should not be happening in this country!

    If it were not for Dr. Daniel Edney and the First Baptist Church, many people right here in Vicksburg would not get any medical care or prescriptions. They operate a free clinic for the poor. Thank God for them.

    I don’t understand how any politicians can be so selfish that they can be more concerned about making money for themselves and not helping the general public that they are supposed to serve. They will have to face their maker one day, but that doesn’t solve the problem now.

  29. I can tell you that some have already moved out of here into the growing Madison area. Bet that irks these local yahoos that they can’t keep thier own populace like they used too either.

  30. Here’s another fact that I’ve been hearing about the local real estate market. Already some houses are being auctioned off here. Now once again this is subprime issue; now Mayor Leyens and others have been quiet on this issue. Now he expouses the fact on the radio that this housing market is bucking the trend. If this was true it would’ve been in the post and Clairon Ledger. The housing slow down hasn’t hit bottom yet; but don’t come out on a local am talk show and to spread a lie on your housing market. Now why are the local politicians so quiet on this issue here? And I wondered if Leyens himself has now lost money becouse of the housing bubble.

  31. I finally found a web site that is giving a voice to the Citizens of Mississippi with regards to the increase in property taxes across the State. I moved back to Mississippi one year ago from Northern Virginia. God how I wish we would have turned down our transfer!!! We immediately bought a home and was shocked that we would be paying $4,000.00 per year in wind & hail insurance, $1,500.00 per year in fire & theft, $321.00 per year in flood and $2,500.00 in property taxes. Grand total $8,321.00 per year to live on the Gulf Coast – my home State. I am so damn angry I can not even speak. Now the Crimial Politicans are uping our property taxes another 31%. We can not keep going like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had a $455,000.00 house in Northern Virgina and paid only $1,700.00 in property taxes (with no such thing as Homestead Exemption) and I am now paying $2,500.00 on a $250,000.00 house. FOR WHAT????????????? I live in Jackson COunty and my God we have nothing here. Not even a decent Mall. They are killing the Military – they want to leave the State. Where has all the money gone from the Casinos, the American Tax Payers money that was given to us after Katrina. Where is the money???????????? People must unite against this. I have called my local County Supervisor – needless to say that did not go well. I am going to call the State Legislature and the Governors Office. I am angry and they are going to hear it!!!!!!!! Mississippi is ranked 2nd in the Nation on high Sales Taxes. Our car tags are sky high. What more do these corrupt politicans want from us???????

  32. Give ’em hell, Kim. What we need is many more people willing to raise cain with the local leaders and the legislature – like you. Unfortunately, people in Mississippi are so apathetic that the politicians hardly ever hear from them.


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