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January’s Raise Is First For Supervisors In A Decade

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY–When the county’s assessed value climbed over 75,000,000 with the start of the 2013-14 fiscal year that got underway in October, supervisors, justice court judges, the board attorney and prosecuting attorney became eligible for an annual $1,000 pay raise.
    While money for the raises had been budgeted for the fiscal year, supervisors were required to vote on the raise and place the vote on the board minutes. This led to the discussion at the “first Monday” supervisors meeting held Dec. 2 in Water Valley.
    “There are two ways to look at it,” Board President Tommy Vaughn noted. “We’ve asked everybody to keep a flat line on the raises this year and most everybody did,” Vaughn said, referring to department heads and county employees. “If we denied them raises, I asked myself why should I get a raise. But, by the same token it’s been 10 years since we got a raise,” Vaughn countered.
    District 4 Supervisor George Suggs ultimately made the motion for the raise, which was seconded by District 2 Supervisor Amos Sims with a 5-0 vote following.
    The jump in assessed value also triggered a pay raise for the tax assessor/collector, with the base pay increasing from $48,500 to 52,000, based on Mississippi Code of 1972, 25-3-3. That same section also authorizes salary supplements that remain unchanged. The supplements include an additional $5,000 annually for a person serving as both the tax assessor and tax collector in their county, plus $3,500 annually in counties that have two judicial districts.
    Section 25-3-3 also grants an additional $1,500 annually for certification from the International Association of Assessing Officer; plus $6,500 annually for state certification  as a residential appraiser or licensed timberland appraiser or holding a valid designation from the International Association of Assessing Officers as a Cadastral Mapping Specia-list (CMS) or Personal Property Specialist (PPS) or Residential Evaluation Specialist (RES).
    A tax assessor can also make another $8,500 annually for holding valid designation of Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) from the International Association of Assessing Officers or is a state certified General Real Estate Appraiser (GA).
    The raise for the tax assessor did not require a vote by supervisors. All raises take effect in January.

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