2020 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Morgan
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-35-143, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT IF A TAX ASSESSOR HAS KNOWLEDGE OF CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES OR OCCURRENCES THAT MAY AFFECT AN ASSESSMENT OF PROPERTY FOR AD VALOREM TAX PURPOSES, THE ASSESSOR SHALL MAKE AN APPLICATION ON BEHALF OF THE INTERESTED PARTY WITH THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CHANGE, CANCEL OR DECREASE THE ASSESSMENT; TO REVISE THE TIME WITHIN WHICH AN APPLICATION MAY BE MADE WITH A COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO CHANGE, CANCEL OR DECREASE AN ASSESSMENT OF PROPERTY FOR AD VALOREM TAX PURPOSES WHERE THE PROPERTY IS DESTROYED DUE TO CERTAIN ACCIDENTS OR OCCURRENCES; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 27-35-135, 27-35-145, 27-35-149 AND 27-37-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH RELATE TO THE CHANGE OF ASSESSMENTS OF PROPERTY FOR AD VALOREM TAX PURPOSES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-35-143, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-35-143. (1) The
board of supervisors of each county shall have power, upon application of the
party interested, or by the assessor on behalf of such party, or otherwise as
prescribed in Sections 27-35-145 through 27-35-149, to change, cancel or
decrease an assessment in the manner herein provided at any time after the
assessment roll containing such assessment has been finally approved by the * * *
Department of Revenue,
and, except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section,
prior to the last Monday in August next, under the following circumstances and
* * *
(a) When the same property has been
assessed more than once to one or more persons.
* * *
(b) When a clerical error has been
made in transcribing the assessment from the tax list to the assessment roll,
or from the assessment roll to the copies, or in amending the original
assessment roll, in making the equalization of assessments, or in carrying out
the instructions of the * * * State Tax Commission Department of Revenue.
* * *
(c) When an error in addition or
multiplication has been made in the compilation of the tax list, roll or copy
of the roll.
* * *
(d) When there is an assessment of
property which never existed, or was not owned by or in the possession of the
party to whom assessed, on the next preceding tax lien date.
* * *
(e) When the assessment is in the
name of another than the owner of the property on the next preceding tax lien
* * *
(f) When the assessment is so indefinite
as to give a vague or imperfect description of the property assessed.
* * *
(g) When the property assessed is
nontaxable, or was not subject to taxation on the next preceding tax lien date.
* * *
(h) When the property is not liable
to a special district tax levy for which it has been assessed.
* * *
(i) Except as otherwise provided
in subsection (3) of this section, when the property, after the next
preceding tax lien date, but before the payment of taxes due thereon, has
ceased to exist, on account of death or destruction by fire, explosion, storm,
flood, earthquake, lightning, or other inevitable accident or act of
Providence; or has depreciated in value on account of any such accident or
occurrence as the foregoing.
Provided, however, that where property has been insured the amount collected as insurance by reason of such loss shall be taken into account by the board in reducing the assessment, or refunding any tax payment thereon.
* * *
(j) When the assessment does not
show the correct number of acres, actually in the property described, or the
correct quantity of any property.
* * *
(k) When lands have been assessed
and incorrectly classified; or when buildings and improvements have been
assessed which were not on the land, at the preceding tax lien date; or where
the buildings and improvements, at the preceding tax lien date, were exempt
from assessment and taxation.
* * *
(l) When the property has been
assessed for more than its actual value; but in such cases the board shall
require proof, under oath, of such excessive assessment by two (2) or more
competent witnesses who know of their own personal knowledge that the property
is assessed for a higher sum than its true value.
* * *
(m) When the property has been
assessed as subject to state taxes and is exempt; or when the property has been
assessed as subject to county and district taxes and is exempt from such taxes.
* * *
(n) When buildings and improvements
have been assessed with the land, but are owned by someone other than the owner
of the land.
(2) The assessor shall make an application on behalf of the party interested if the assessor has knowledge of any circumstance or occurrence described in subsection (1)(i) of this section regardless of whether the party interested has made such an application. If the assessor fails to make such application, the party interested may make an application with the board of supervisor not later than eighteen (18) months after the date of the accident or occurrence described in subsection (1)(i) of this section, and the board of supervisors may change, cancel or decrease the assessment.
(3) If an accident or occurrence described in subsection (1)(i) of this section occurs before April 1 of a calendar year and destroys or damages property before such date, then the party interested, or the tax assessor on behalf of such party, may make an application to the board of supervisors to change, cancel or decrease an assessment as provided in subsection (1) of this section and the board of supervisors may change, cancel or decrease the assessment.
SECTION 2. Section 27-35-135, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
27-35-135. When the land roll is ordered by the board to be declared in force for the year following the year in which it was made, the assessor shall assemble, for presentation to the board, all necessary information which is obtainable with respect to the taxable real property in the county, and shall present to the board at its July meeting his recommendation of the changes which include the addition of buildings not on the roll, changes in ownership, subdivisions of tracts of land, and destruction of buildings, and other information which is pertinent to the circumstances enumerated in Sections 27-35-143 and 27-35-147, or as may be requested by the board, to enable it to make such changes as will cause the taxes to be charged to the person or property liable therefor, and to fix the assessments of property according to the value thereof, to the end that all property shall be assessed and taxed uniformly and equally. The board shall proceed to consider the land assessment roll along with the personal property assessment roll as is required by Sections 27-35-83 and 27-35-87, Mississippi Code of 1972, in the same manner as is done in the year in which the land roll is made. The board shall make a record of its changes, and if expedient the board may prepare, or have prepared, new pages to replace any page or pages in the roll where changes are so numerous as to cause confusion and uncertainty in the description of any property and of any individual assessment. The pages which are replaced shall be marked void by the clerk, who shall place the new pages in the roll at the place in the roll immediately following the pages marked void, and shall certify copies of the new pages, one (1) to the tax collector, and one (1) to the Tax Commission. The tax collector and the Tax Commission shall place the pages received in their respective copies of the roll.
The board shall publish a notice to the taxpayers as required by Section 27-35-83 that the roll is open for inspection and shall meet and hear objections as provided by Sections 27-35-89 and 27-35-93. When all objections have been heard, the board shall approve finally, by order, the roll as so corrected and revised, and the clerk of the board shall prepare a new recapitulation and a new certificate for the corrected roll and deliver one (1) copy to the tax collector and one (1) copy to the State Tax Commission. The roll so approved shall be the legal roll, and the values thus fixed shall be the legal value of the property described for the payment of taxes, and it shall be the duty of each and every taxpayer to pay his taxes thereon according to such value.
SECTION 3. Section 27-35-145, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
27-35-145. Any person desiring a change in assessment as provided in Section 27-35-143 shall make, in writing, an application in duplicate to the board of supervisors of the county where such assessment is made (or the tax assessor of the county may make such applications for him) on the forms prescribed, setting forth the grounds for the reduction, change, or cancellation claimed. At any meeting, either regular, special, or adjourned, the board of supervisors may hear and determine the matter and shall require such evidence as, in its opinion, is necessary to substantiate the application. If the board approves the application it shall adopt an order setting forth its conclusions, which order shall be dealt with as hereinafter provided. The State Tax Commission shall prescribe and furnish the forms necessary for complying with the provisions of this section.
SECTION 4. Section 27-35-149, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
27-35-149. It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors in carrying out the provisions of Sections 27-35-143 through 27-35-147 to make such changes in assessments as will cause the taxes to be charged to the person or property liable therefor, and to fix the assessments of property according to the true value thereof, to the end that all property shall be assessed and taxed equally and uniformly. In all cases, the board shall adopt an order and enter the same on its minutes, and shall show in its order the page and line of the assessment roll where such change or correction is made.
Upon receipt of the order (and application, if one be required), the clerk of the board of supervisors shall transmit a certified copy of the order to the tax collector of his county and shall file the application as a record in his office. No assessment shall be increased or decreased and no credit to or charge against the tax collector of any county on account of such increase or decrease shall be entered by the Auditor of Public Accounts or by the county auditor except as shown by an order adopted by the board of supervisors as provided herein. All changes in assessment made under the provisions hereof shall be entered on the proper line and page of the assessment roll in force, and the clerk and tax collector shall keep the proper record of all such changes, increases or decreases. Nothing in this and Sections 27-35-143 through 27-35-147 shall be construed to affect or modify any law with reference to the assessing of property which has escaped taxation in former years.
SECTION 5. Section 27-37-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
27-37-27. When the assessor and chancery clerk shall receive the roll or schedule of land from the State Tax Commission, as provided by Section 27-37-21 of this article, in the years in which land is not assessed, or after the completion of the roll in land assessment years, they shall present the same to the board of supervisors, and the board shall carefully compare it with the land assessment roll of the county. It shall be the duty of the board of supervisors of each county in which any of such lands are located, to require the assessor to prepare proper petitions for the cancellation or change of assessments as provided by Section 27-35-143, Mississippi Code of 1972, and the board shall proceed to adopt proper orders as required by Section 27-35-149, Mississippi Code of 1972, so as to cancel all assessments against land owned by the United States for the purposes set forth in this article, and to assess to the proper owners any lands which are taxable to individual owners. All such petitions prepared by the assessor shall be acted upon by the board, proper orders adopted, as herein provided, and the same submitted to the tax commission for its approval or disapproval, to the end that all lands which are exempt from assessment shall be so shown on the roll, and all parties properly assessed with the lands owned, and the tax collector credited with any assessments with which he may be charged, and which are cancelled or reduced.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.