Katrina Networking

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

MS Homestead Tax Article

From Jenni
Homestead exemption deadline is looming
Application only has to be filed once
By ROYCE ARMSTRONG
SUN HERALD
The tax season is already under way and now is the time for South
Mississippians to file or change their homestead exemption if they
need to do so.

The homestead exemption is a tax break given to homeowners who meet
certain qualifications, according to Wilburn Bolen, tax assessor in
George County. To get the tax break, a homeowner must be a
Mississippi resident and the head of household; the deed to the
property must be in the homeowner's name and the home must be the
primary residence.

The tax break may be up to $300 and is calculated on the assessed
value of the home. The assessed value is roughly 10 percent of the
market value. If a home has a market value of $75,000, the assessed
value is $7,500. The homestead exemption is $6 for every $150 of
assessed value, giving the maximum credit for homes valued at
$75,000 or more.

People age 65 or older or people with permanent disabilities may get
an even larger tax break.

To receive the homestead exemption tax credit, homeowners file an
application with the county tax assessor. With the application,
homeowners must provide proof of ownership before Jan. 1 of the year
for which they are filing. Once the application is filed, homeowners
do not have to file again until there is some change in ownership or
qualification status.

A change in ownership status can include selling a portion of the
land, or even adding a tract to the deed. It is the homeowner's
responsibility, as the taxpayer, to file a new homestead-exemption
application when ownership or status changes take place.

Homestead-exemption applications can be filed from Jan. 1 until
April 1. The credit will be deducted from the amount of real-estate
tax due the following year.

The homestead exemption may be lost in cases of delinquent income
taxes or possessing a vehicle with a tag from a different county or
state.

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