Harrison County Tax Collector David LaRosa says most folks buying their car tags are concerned about one thing. How much will it cost?
Complaints about high-priced tags in Mississippi are quite common. But did you ever wonder how the price was figured or just who gets the money? The answers might surprise you.
The Harrison County Tax Collector's office will collect more than $24 million in car tag revenue this year.
Eric Green just moved to the coast from New Orleans. He's happy some of his $133 car tag will support the schools.
"That's not too bad. My wife is starting to be a teacher here, so maybe that pay will trickle down to her so we'll get it back," Green said.
The money you pay for your tag is split into three areas: county millage, city millage and school millage. The vehicle assessment is set by the state and is based on the manufacturer's suggested retail price.
"Cars are assessed at 30 percent of their value. If you have a $30,000 Cadillac for example, it would be assessed at 30 percent, which would be $9,000, and that $9,000 would be multiplied by whatever the millage is in the particular taxing district," LaRosa said.
Harrison County is divided into 25 separate taxing districts. Each district has its own millage for figuring how much car tags cost. Where you live can make a tremendous difference in what you pay for your car tag. And it's not just a difference of a few dollars. The difference can be several hundred dollars.
Here are the tag prices for various places on the Coast for a new 2002 Toyota Camry:
Put simply, the tag cost depends on what you're driving, where you live and what the millage happens to be.
"But most people, to be truthful with you, really aren't interested in all that. They just want to pay the least amount they can, then get out," LaRosa said.