Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Tax assessors and appraisers from throughout Mississippi recently participated in the Certified Appraiser School at Mississippi State University.
The May 13-17 and June 3-7 training sessions were conducted by the Mississippi Department of Revenue and coordinated by the MSU Extension Service’s Center for Government and Community Development (GCD). The 26 participants from the Lauderdale County Deputy Tax Assessor office, including Dan Roberts, Leah McGraw, Peter Russell, Lynda McDonald. Newton County's Joyce Amos attended, as did LaKesha Jones from Neshoba County.
The Mississippi Tax Assessor Education and Certification Program was developed in 1979 for assessors and appraisers to acquire legislatively mandated certification, said Janet Baird, GCD governmental training specialist.
“Assessors and appraisers are members of a profession requiring a high level of competence,” Baird said. “The program offers on-going educational opportunities for Mississippi’s assessors and appraisers to gain greater expertise and professionalism. The ultimate beneficiaries of the program are the citizens of the state who receive improved services from their state and local governments.”
Ten days of intensive training are held during two five-day sessions each year in May and June on the MSU campus. Baird and GCD project manager Jason Camp facilitated the 2013 sessions.
The assessor school subjects include mapping, urban and agricultural land valuation and preparing and maintaining tax rolls, as well as individual sessions on appraisal of residential, personal and commercial property.
Participants are required to pass two exams during the course.
In addition to coordinating the Tax Assessor Education and Certification Program, the GCD staff at Mississippi State design and deliver educational programs, training activities, information and technical assistance to meet high priority economic and community development needs of Mississippi communities and their citizens.