Supervisors deal with tax issues

By Amanda McBride The Choctaw Plaindealer

The Choctaw County Board of Supervisors dealt with several tax issues in their July 2 board meeting.

Ginger Eaves attended the board meeting to ask for a refund on land taxes that she has paid for 20 years.

She said she has been paying land taxes on 10 acres for 20 years that is not hers. Eaves sold that land over 20 years ago and it was never taken off of her land taxes. She asked the board to refund that portion of her land taxes for the past 20 years.

Steve Wright, board attorney, researched the statue on erroneously paid taxes, MS Code 27-73-7 and an Attorney General’s Opinion from 2003 and said the statue only allows the supervisors refund that portion for the previous three years.

The supervisors approved to refund Eaves $97.41, which is the amount on the 10 acres for the past three years.

Jody Webb at Southeastern Timber Products (STP) attended the meeting to ask about STP’s tax listing.

Lori Fiebig, tax assessor, listed STP as full tax on the tax roll while STP believed they should receive their five year tax exemption. The board previously agreed to a five year tax exemption for STP then an additional five years exemption if they met certain criteria including making a $4 million investment into this plant.

After asking questions and a discussion, the board recognized STP’s objection to the land rolls and approved their objection adding that any new property would be taxed at the same rate of existing property during the same five year exemption. The supervisors’ approving STP’s objection means the tax exemption is allowed except for school and fire taxes and any future bond debt.

On a different matter, the Board of Supervisors approved then rescinded a motion to pay $22,950 to install wireless internet in the new hospital and medical office building. First the board approved the installation and to bill the total costs to Pioneer Health Systems. Pioneer said in a previous meeting that they would pay for the installation after having their engineers look at it.

Later in the meeting, the board talked to Steve Fontaine, with Pioneer, on the telephone and he said that Pioneer could not afford to pay $22,950 to install the wireless internet.

The board then approved to rescind that motion. Wireless internet will not be installed in the new hospital and medical office building during construction.

The Board of Supervisors also approved: To remove two homestead exemptions at the request of Lori Fiebig, tax assessor.

To recognize that the board received the tax rolls from Fiebig, that they are equalized and read for objection. The board also approved to publish the public hearing notice in the newspaper.

To recognize the new law that sets the amount needed to write a purchase order at $1,000 instead of the previously required $500.