1997 Regular Session
To: Fees and Salaries of Public Officers; County Affairs
By: Representative Middleton
House Bill 1217
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-3-52, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE COUNTY BOARDS OF SUPERVISORS TO PAY AN ANNUAL SUPPLEMENT TO DEPUTY TAX ASSESSORS WHO EARN CERTIFICATES OF EDUCATIONAL RECOGNITION AND PROFESSIONAL ATTAINMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 27-1-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE SALARIES OF DEPUTY TAX ASSESSORS TO EXCEED THE SALARY OF THE ASSESSOR AND TAX COLLECTOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 27-3-52, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-3-52. (1) The State Tax Commission shall promulgate rules and regulations setting forth the minimum requirements for which assessors and/or their deputy assessors or assistants, appropriate state employees and employees of planning and development districts may attain certification as an appraiser. The commission shall establish and conduct such educational and training programs as may be appropriate to assist such persons in attaining such certification.
Counties having not more than five thousand (5,000) applicants for homestead exemption shall have at least one (1) certified appraiser, and counties having more than five thousand (5,000) applicants for homestead exemption shall have at least two (2) certified appraisers; * * * however, * * * any county may employ any certified appraiser on a part-time basis.
(2) When any tax assessor and/or his deputies or assistants * * * travel outside of their county to attend an appraisal school, seminar or workshop approved by the State Tax Commission, such persons shall receive as reimbursement of expenses of such travel the same mileage and actual and necessary expenses for food, lodging and travel by public carrier or private motor vehicles as is allowed under Section 25-3-41. * * * However, mileage shall not be authorized when such travel is done by a motor vehicle owned by the county.
The county board of supervisors shall reimburse the assessors, tax collectors and deputies for reasonable and necessary expenses sustained in attending annual conferences, regional conferences, schools and seminars. The State Tax Commission shall have the authority to prescribe forms and to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section. No expenses authorized herein shall be reimbursed unless the expenses have been authorized or approved by an order of the board duly made and spread upon the minutes of such board.
(3) When any tax assessor and/or his deputies or assistants attend and successfully complete all qualifications pursuant to the Mississippi Education and Certification Program and receive the certification level of Track II, Evaluator I, they shall receive an additional One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) annually beginning the next fiscal year after completion.
When any tax assessor and/or his deputies or assistants attend and successfully complete all qualifications pursuant to the Mississippi Education and Certification Program and receive the certification level of Track II, Evaluator II, they shall receive an additional One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) annually beginning the next fiscal year after completion.
When any tax assessor and/or his deputies or assistants attend and successfully complete all qualifications pursuant to the Mississippi Education and Certification Program and receive the certification level of Mississippi Assessment Evaluator (MAE), they shall receive an additional One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00) annually beginning the next fiscal year after completion.
The accumulative total of all educational increases authorized under this subsection shall not exceed Three Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($3,500.00) and shall be paid out of the common county fund from proceeds of the one (1) mill ad valorem tax as provided in Section 27-39-329.
In order to receive the additional annual payment or payments provided for in this subsection, the tax assessor or deputies or assistants who completed the Mississippi Education and Certification Program and were certified as provided herein shall be personally involved in the conduct, administration and/or supervision of the appraisal of the property of the county and in the maintenance of such appraisal.
(4) When any deputy tax assessor holds a valid certificate of educational recognition or professional attainment as described in Sections 25-3-3 and 25-3-5, he shall receive extra compensation in an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of the additional compensation respectively authorized in those sections for assessors-tax collectors and tax assessors achieving the same certification.
SECTION 2. Section 27-1-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-1-9. The following shall be applicable to all counties and shall pertain to the operation of the assessor and tax collector's office:
(a) Each assessor and tax collector shall appoint a sufficient number of deputies to assist him in carrying out the duties of his office and fix their compensation, subject to the budget for the assessor and tax collector's office approved by the county board of supervisors. * * *
(b) The assessor and tax collector shall, at the July meeting of the board of supervisors, submit a budget of estimated expenses of his office for the ensuing fiscal year beginning October 1 in such form as shall be prescribed by the Director of the State Department of Audit. The board shall examine this proposed budget and determine the amount to be expended by the assessor and tax collector in the performance of his duties for the fiscal year and may increase or reduce the amount as it deems necessary and proper.
The budget shall include amounts for compensating deputies and other employees of the assessor and tax collector's office, for travel and transportation expenses of the assessor and tax collector and deputies, for theft insurance premiums, for equipment and supplies of his office, and for such other expenses as may be incurred in the performance of the duties of his office. In addition, the budget shall include amounts for the payment of premiums on bonds and other insurance for the assessor and tax collector and his deputies which, in the opinion of the board of supervisors, are deemed necessary to protect the interests of the county, or the assessor and tax collector and his deputies. Such amounts may include: official bonds and any bonds required of his deputies by the assessor and tax collector; fire and other hazards insurance; and hospitalization insurance as provided for in Sections 25-15-101 and 25-15-103.
(c) The board of supervisors shall, at its first meeting of each quarter beginning on October 1, January 1, April 1, and July 1, appropriate a lump sum for the assessor and tax collector for the expenses of his office during the current quarter. The quarterly appropriation shall be one-fourth (1/4) of the amount approved in the annual budget unless the assessor and tax collector requests a different amount. Except in case of emergency, as provided in the county budget law, the appropriation for the quarter beginning in October of the last year of the assessor and tax collector's term shall not exceed one-fourth (1/4) of the annual budget.
(d) The assessor and tax collector shall file a report of all expenditures of his office during the preceding month with the board of supervisors for approval at its regular monthly meeting in a form to be prescribed by the Director of the State Department of Audit and upon filing thereof and approval by the board, the clerk of the board shall issue warrants in payment thereof but not to exceed the budget appropriation for that quarter. Any appropriated funds which are unexpended at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the county general fund.
(e) The budget for the assessor and tax collector's office may be revised at any regular meeting by the board of supervisors; and upon recommendation of the assessor and tax collector, the board may at any regular meeting make supplemental appropriations to his office.
(f) The budget for the assessor and tax collector's office may include amounts to cover necessary expenses to provide equipment and personnel to file, store, retain or reproduce all records, filings or documents using microfilm, microfiche, data processing, computers, magnetic tape, optical discs or any other electronic process which correctly and legibly stores and reproduces or which forms a medium for storing, copying or reproducing documents, files and records.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.