Overview of Mississippi Taxes
Property taxes in Mississippi are quite low. The median annual property tax in Mississippi is $768, lower than in all but four states and less than half the national average.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield Tax
Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Mississippi Property Taxes
In Mississippi taxes on real estate are a key source of local revenue. Property taxes support school districts, as well as city and county governments. Nonetheless property taxes in Mississippi are quite low. The median annual property tax in Mississippi is $768, lower than in all but four states and less than half the national average.
Why are property taxes in Mississippi so low? In part because home values are relatively low but also because Mississippi has a number of rules that reduce the tax burden on homeowners. Read on to learn more about those rules and property tax rates in Mississippi. If you are considering becoming a homeowner in Mississippi and are looking into getting a mortgage, check out SmartAsset’s Mississippi mortgage guide for important information about rates and the different types of loans there.
Mississippi Property Tax Rules
Property taxes in Mississippi are due by February 1st of each year. Taxes are based on rates and assessed property values determined during the preceding year.
For owner-occupied residential properties the assessed value is equal to 10% of market value (also called true value). For all other real estate the rate is 15%. Each county has an assessor, who is required to revalue each property in the county at least once every four years.
Homeowners may also be eligible for the Mississippi homestead exemption. This exempts the first $7,500 in assessed value from taxation, up to a maximum of $300 off your tax bill.
Mississippi Property Tax Rates
Tax rates in Mississippi are determined by local tax authorities based on the amount of revenue they need to fill their budgets. Tax rates are expressed in millage rates. One mill is equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed value.
So, for example, if your assessed value (before applying the homestead exemption) is $15,000, and your millage rate is 100, your tax bill would be $1,500. After applying the maximum homestead exemption of $300, your total taxes due would be $1,200.
Another way of determining property tax burden is by looking at effective tax rates. An effective tax rate is the annual property tax payment as a percentage of home value. An average effective tax rate is the median property tax payment as a percentage of the median home value. The table below shows average effective property tax rates for every county in Mississippi.
The most populous county in Mississippi, Hinds County has property tax rates that are somewhat higher than the state average. The average effective tax rate in the county is 0.91%. Jackson is the largest city in the county.
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico in southern Mississippi, Harrison County has tax rates below both state and national levels. The county’s average effective tax rate is just 0.67%. A homeowner facing that rate with a home worth $140,000, would pay just $938 annually in property taxes.
DeSoto County’s average effective tax rate of 0.75% is close to the state average. DeSoto County sits across state line from Tennessee. It’s worth noting that property taxes in DeSoto County are well below those in Tennessee’s Shelby County, home to Memphis. The rate in Shelby County is 1.5%, double the rate in Mississippi’s DeSoto County.
If you are looking for low property taxes in Mississippi, Rankin County might be a good choice. The most recent county average millage rate in Rankin County is 90.84 mills. At that rate you would pay taxes of just $1062.60 annually (including the homestead exemption) on a home valued at $150,000.
Homeowners in Jackson County pay higher-than-average property taxes. The median annual property tax in Jackson County is $1,040. That is about $270 higher than the state average.
This central Mississippi County has the highest median home value of any county in the state, at $201,200 (according to the U.S. Census Bureau). That means that, while tax rates in Madison County aren’t especially high, homeowners in the county pay more in dollar terms than homeowners in any other Mississippi county. The county’s median annual property tax is $1,382.
The average effective property tax rate in Lee County is 0.82%. That ranks as the 20th highest property tax rate in the state. At that rate, the annual taxes on a home with a market value of $100,000 would be $820.
Taxes on real estate in Lauderdale County are among the highest in the state. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 0.97%, sixth highest in the state. However, because of the county’s relative low home values, most homeowners in the county pay less than $900 annually in property taxes.
Forrest County is located in southern Mississippi and contains the city of Hattiesburg. The county’s average effective tax rate is 0.89%.
The majority of homeowners in Jones County pay less than $600 annually in property taxes. That is partly because the county has relatively low home values (under $85,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau) but also because of the county’s low tax rates. The Jones County average effective property tax rate is 0.69%.Photo credits: ©iStock.com/nikkormat42, ©iStock.com/cristianl
How Alabama Property Taxes Work
Alabama property taxes are due on October 1st of each year and any taxes unpaid as of December 1st are considered delinquent. Taxes are based on property’s value, although actual millage rates apply to “assessed” value, which varies depending on the primary use of the property.
For residential property, the assessed value is 10% of the appraised (or market) value. So, for example, a home with an appraised value of $200,000 would have an assessed value of $20,000 (10% of $200,000). If that home was subject to a total property tax rate of 30 mills, the total annual property tax would be $600 ($20,000 x (30/1000)).
Alabama Property Tax Rates
Property tax rates are represented in “mills,” a unit equal to one tenth of a percent (so 1% equals 10 mills). Total rates vary depending on the location of the property. There is a statewide millage of 6.5, along with local rates charged by counties, school districts and municipalities. Additionally, there are some exemptions that may reduce your total property tax burden.
Because of these variations between mill rates at the local level and the exemptions available to homeowners, it is easier to compare locations by looking at effective property tax rates. Effective property tax rates are the median amount of property taxes actually paid each year as a percentage of the median home value. The table below shows the effective tax rates for every county in Alabama.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
The largest county in Alabama, Jefferson County also has some the highest property taxes in the state (although they are still relatively low in comparison with the rest of the country). The countywide, base millage rate is 28.2. This includes 6.5 mills that go to the state fund, 5.6 mills that go to Jefferson County’s general fund, 7.9 mills that go to things like roads and bridges and another 8.2 mills that go to schools across the county.
On top of those countywide rates, are additional rates that vary depending on the school district and city in which your home is located. Local school district property taxes in Jefferson county range from 5.4 mills in District 52 (Bessemer) up to 34.1 in District 17 (Mt. Brook). Most districts in the county have a millage rate of 21.9. Along with the 8.2 mill countywide school district property tax, these taxes go directly to support local schools.
Some municipalities in Jefferson County also collect their own property taxes. In Birmingham, which is the largest city in the county as well as the state, the municipal millage rate is 28.5. That means the total rate, including those listed above, is 78.6. That’s equal to 7.86 percent—but that applies to assessed value, with is just 10% of actual market value. That means effective property tax rates in Birmingham are closer to 0.75%.
The average homeowner in Mobile County pays $671 annually in property taxes, the 5th highest average payment in the state. Of course, actual payments depend on your home value and where you live. Property tax millage rates in the county begin at 44.5. That includes amounts that go toward the general fund, roads and bridges, hospitals and schools.
There are additional school millage rates which vary depending on location. Inside Mobile and Pritchard, the additional millage is 12.0, while outside those two cities, the additional millage is 4.0. Lastly, there are additional city property taxes in 10 Mobile County cities. In Mobile (the city), the municipal rate is 7.0, which brings the total millage rate for residents of Mobile city to 63.5.
Total property taxes in Madison County range from 36.5 mills (a mill is 1/10th of a percent) in rural areas (those that are not a part of any municipality) to 58 mills in Huntsville. About one-third of county property taxes go to schools, with rates varying based on district. In district 1, which includes all areas outside of Huntsville, the school millage rate is 16.0. In district 2, which includes Huntsville, the school millage rate is 21.0 (that is included in the total millage of 58 listed above).
Total property taxes in Montgomery County vary depending on the local school district and any city rates. Property tax rates begin at 14 mills countywide. For homeowners outside the city of Montgomery, there is an additional tax of five mills for fire protection. However, Montgomery also collects a municipal tax of 12.5 mills.
There are four school districts in Montgomery County. In districts 1, 2 and 3 the property tax rate is 10 mills and in district four the property tax rate is 26 mills.
Shelby County is the 5th largest county in Alabama. The average home value there is $193,000 and home owners pay an average of $959 in property taxes annually. That’s the highest average property tax payment of any county in the state, but it is still lower than the national average (which is about $1,300).
Countywide property tax rates begin at 30 mills. There are additional school district property taxes of 14 mills outside of Hoover, Birmingham and Vestavia Hills. In Hoover, the additional school district tax is 6 mills. Additional city taxes can be as high as 49.3 mills (in Vestavia Hills). That means the total property tax millage rate in Shelby County can be as high as 79.3 mills.
Home to the city of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa County collects property taxes to fund education, infrastructure projects and other local services. Total property tax rates range from 27 mills in rural areas to 51.5 mills in the city of Tuscaloosa. Four other cities have total rates higher than the rest of the county. Northport has a total rate of 38.5 mills. Moundville, Brookwood and Lakeview have a total rate of 32 mills.
The average annual property tax payment in Baldwin County is just $586, less than half the U.S. average for annual property taxes. The county has an average effective property tax rate (property taxes as a percentage of market value) of about 0.35%.
Actual property tax rates in the county are based on assessed value (10% of market value), with millage rates ranging from 28 in rural areas of district 1 up to 43 in the city of Fairhope.
Lee County has some of the highest property taxes in Alabama, although taxes are still relatively low in relation to the rest of the U.S. The average Lee County homeowner pays $776 annually in property taxes.
Property tax rates in Lee County vary between cities and the rest of the county. In the two largest cities, Auburn and Opelika, the total property tax rate is 54 mills. In Phenix, the rate is 63 mills. In Notasulga and Waverly, the rate is 49 mills while in the rest of the county, it is 44 mills.
The base property tax rate in Morgan County is 37.4 mills. Residents of four cities pay higher rates, however. Decatur has the highest property tax rate in the state at 45.3 mills. It is followed by Falkville and Trinity at 42.4 mills each. In Hartselle the rate is 39.4 mills.
The average annual property tax payment in Calhoun County is $433. Property tax rates range from 39 mills in rural areas in the northern part of the county up to 51.5 mills in Anniston. In Oxford and Jacksonville, the rate is 47.5 mills.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
We used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites