Jackson County property values drop

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - If you own a home or property south of I-10 in Jackson County, here's something you don't want to hear. Right now, it is probably not worth as much as it was this time last year.

Dan Coate lives in the Trentwood subdivision. It's a Jackson County community south of I-10 where property values seem to be falling. If there's a silver lining for Coate, it's that lower property values could mean lower tax bills.

"It will put money in my pockets, but also put more money back in the economy because that is money we will be able to spend on grocery and gas," Coate said.

Tax Assessor Benny Goff has been analyzing Jackson County's tax rolls. Based on his calculations, 45,000 Jackson County homes and properties are worth less today than they were a year ago. The drop is blamed on a sluggish real estate market, a jump in foreclosures and insurance costs.

"When people can't afford insurance, they have to move. I have a friend whose insurance on his house is $18,000 or $19,000."

Goff notes that when property values fall, property taxes fall. On Tuesday, he told Jackson County supervisors the dip in property values may mean a bite out of the next budget they approve.

"Anytime your assessed value drops, that means less money coming into the county. We don't want it to drop to the point of having to cut service, which in turn affects the county drastically. So we have to find ways to maintain, to provide the service the citizens' need."

Supervisor Harris does see light at the end of the tunnel. He believes that with the new LNG project coming online and with the taxes paid by other industries, Jackson County should be able to recoup the tax money it's losing in its neighborhoods.

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