In a move toward mercy, Oktibbeha County will make a new allowance for taxpayers.
By allowing partial payments of ad valorem taxes, officials hope to compromise with people who cannot pay their full tax debt on time while collecting more funds than the county would otherwise.
Property owners may now choose the relief of four payment installments or paying all at once.
Tax Assessor-Collector Pat Kight said that if any of those deadlines are missed, however, property owners must pay their entire bill or the remaining balance in full with a percentage of interest added on for every following month.
The board voted 4-1 to approve the installment payment plan.
District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer voted against the measure amid fears that the county could receive less money during collection time than in previous years.
“It sounds good, but we have no research,” Trainer said. “We have nothing in front of us to go on.”
Board attorney Jack Brown said that the City of Starkville allows payment by installments while comptroller Emily Garrard said that other Mississippi counties have benefitted financially from allowing tax payments in installments.
“The economy is in such bad shape, we have people struggling from week to week,” District 1 Supervisor Carl Clardy said
The new installment plan playment system would help those people comply with the law, Clardy said.