Greene Rotary learns about taxes

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2005

EUTAW-The newly formed Greene County Rotary Club

Over view of millage

Greene County Revenue Commissioner Brenda Goree was the guest speaker for the Rotary along with County Appraiser Rodney Pham. Goree said they spend most of the year collecting taxes and working with citizens to clear up any problems. She said they normally try to have all payments in place by New Years Day.

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“We collect taxes from October until December and hope to have it all by Jan.1,” Goree said of the money received, 41 percent goes to the county.

She said they try to make the collection process go as smoothly as possible.

“We try as hard as we can not to hassle taxpayers,” Goree said. “We go all out to try to call people out to make sure we take care of problems and make sure we can prevent them from having tax sales on their property. We try to collect all the taxes by June 30 of every year.”

When Pham addressed the club he explained how the money is collected and the calculations used for different situations. Pham said when you broke one mill down it was a very small amount of money. He also explained how the mills are distributed.

“One mill is one-tenth of one penny,” Pham said. “The way it breaks down in Greene County is if you live out in the county area you pay 37.5 mills. About 6.5 of those mills go directly to the state.”

Pham said 31 mills go to the county and school systems.

“Twenty mills go to the county general fund,” Pham said. “Three mills go to road and bridge funds, five mills go to county wide schools and three go to district schools. That is a total of eight mills going to the schools.”

Where a person lives has a great deal to do with how much they pay. Pham said residents of Eutaw paid the most with smaller communities paying slightly less.

“If you live in the City of Eutaw, you pay an additional 17.5 mils in addition to the 37.5 giving you a total of 55 mills,” Pham said. “Forkland pays an additional 5 mills, Boligee pays an additional 3.5 mills and Union pays an additional 5 mills.”

Pham also went through the process of calculating taxes for mills. Pham said there were three classes of taxes.

“All properties of utilities that are placed on your power company are class one taxes,” Pham said. “They pay an assessment fee of 30 percent. They pay tax on the assessed value is if the appraised value is $10,000 the appraised value is $3,000. Multiply that times .0375 and the taxes due is $112.50.”

Pham said Class II taxes was normally associated with businesses and paid on 20 percent of market value and Class III taxes, which was 10 percent, was placed on all agricultural, forest and residential property.

Pham said there were several situations where citizens could be exempt. He said the first was a Homestead Exemption, which could be claimed on a principal residence regardless of age or income. He said the amount of assessed value exempt is $2,000 county and $4,000 state. There was a second Homestead Exemption for persons over 65, or who were totally blind or disabled and whose adjusted gross income was less than $12,000.

The third Homestead Exemption applied to persons who were over the age of 65, totally blind or disabled and had a taxable income of less than $7,500. The final exemption, Homestead Exemption IV, applied to persons who were over 65, blind or disabled and had an adjusted gross income of over $12,000.