Edgewood Mall, soon to be known as Uptown McComb, appealed its county tax rates to Pike County supervisors on Monday.
Mall representative William Ward claimed the property has a $7.5 million value, half of what’s on the county tax roll.
He said the property sold in 2017 for less than the county’s valuation, and he has an appraisal backing up his figures. Ward said malls are losing money nationwide, and Edgewood is still suffering from the loss of anchor store JC Penney.
Tax Assessor Laurie Allen said the Penney loss was a few years ago and was already factored in to the mall’s taxes.
She said she lowered the valuation last year on two mall properties: $1.29 million on one and $395,000 on another.
Allen said she knew of nothing that has happened since January 2019 that would justify lowering the mall’s value so drastically.
“I just don’t see any logic in decreasing it that much. That’s half,” she said.
Allen also pointed out plans to rename the mall Uptown McComb, with potentially high-revenue renters such as medical offices.
RockStep Capital of Houston, Texas, bought the shopping center in 2017 and announced the plans last week.
In a related matter, supervisors voted 4-1 to hire Crook Appraisal Consultants to appraise the mall property for $7,500.
Supervisor Tazwell Bowsky opposed, saying the county shouldn’t have to pay for the appraisal.
Board attorney Wayne Dowdy said Edgewood typically appeals its tax rate and it’s helpful for the county to have its own appraisal, as it has hired Crook to do in the past. Allen said Crook charged $15,000 last year but she negotiated it down since the appraisal appears to be on an annual basis.
In another tax appeal, George Glenn of SW 98/99 LLC, owner of Pineview Apartments on Avenue B Extension, McComb, said he agreed with Allen’s valuation but thought it shouldn’t include personal property such as desks and computers.
“It’s just old furniture and a computer gets replaced once in a blue moon when it dies,” Glenn said.
Allen said the business paid $550 on the personal property last year and she saw no legal authority not to include it.
“We’re following the law to a T,” she said.
In other business, supervisors:
• Received the report of the grand jury sworn in January. It returned a total of 135 indictments, no-billed 38 cases and remanded 13 to the file.
• Renewed a software support agreement with Delta Computer Systems for the tax assessor’s office at $840 a month, up from $795.
• Noted approval of a $3,680 Justice Assistance Grant from the Department of Public Safety.
• Agreed to advertise for bids to renovate the county health department building on Presley Boulevard using a $242,000 Mississippi State Department of Health grant. The WIC nutritional program will move there, said county administrator Tami Dangerfield.
• Heard concerns from David Williams of Chatawa Road about a junkyard near his house. Supervisors asked county solid waste enforcement officer Richard Coghlan to look at the site.