Unpaid taxes on mobile homes create a dilemma for the county government

During Wednesday’s meeting of the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors, the board discussed a situation that is causing a number of problems in the county.

Tisha Johnson with the Tax Assessor's office presented a list of mobile homes (house trailers) in the county that are owned by an individual who has not paid the taxes based on the assessed value. Additionally, these mobile homes were available to be purchased during the last county wide tax sale, but were not sold.

Tisha Johnson gives the board an update during Wednesday's meeting

Herein lies a number of problems facing the county with the state law literally not allowing them to do much about the situation.

Board attorney Joe Montgomery asked “If they have no value, why are they being assessed?”

Johnson explained that the county tax office, by state statute, must assess (determine and place a value on) the property and the assessment process is costing the county money.

In all of these cases, the mobile home is on land owned by a different person that the person who is the legal owner of the mobile home.

To further complicate the situation, the owner of the mobile homes on the list have not paid the taxes. In some cases, as noted by the list included, four of the units are occupied. The mobile homes are such condition that they are not movable, and they are an eyesore to the county. If someone would decide to purchase the mobile homes in the tax sale, the cost to remove them from the land would be more than the scrapped value (metal frame) that the buyer could attain.

According to Montgomery, the landowner who has allowed the mobile home to be left on the property, is also put in a bad situation because if he/she chooses to have the mobile home removed from their property, they face the possibility of being sued for destroying property (the unit) that they do not legally own.

An idea that was discussed briefly by the board was the possibility of the county buying the mobile homes on the list and cleaning up the property to remove the eyesore and "junkiness" the units are creating.

The board stated they will look further into the situation and work with the county tax assessor’s office to find a resolution to this issue.

Another issue that exists in the county that the board is going to further investigate is the presence of camper trailers in residential yards.

Note: The amount under column Taxes Due is total amount due.

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