MISSISSIPPI – Homeowners asked to rat on renters

Madison County Journal:  Homeowners asked to rat on renters
By Tyler Cleveland
November 25, 2014
MADISON – Madison County Tax Assessor Gerald Barber is continuing his fight on homestead exemption fraud, and is asking homeowner’s associations for help.

Paul Tankersley, who serves as President of the Northbay Homeowner’s Association and Vice Chairman of the Madison Organization of Homeowner’s Associations, sent an email earlier this month to residents of all 77 homeowners associations in the city of Madison, asking them to report any rentals in their respective neighborhoods to Barber’s administrative assistant, Leslie Lacour.

“The Tax Assessor’s office in Madison County has requested that MONA solicit help from the HOA’s identifying rentals in their neighborhoods,” Tankersley wrote. “The reason is to help identify possible Homestead fraud which in turn helps to protect everyone’s property values.”

Barber confirmed Monday that his office had reached out to MONA and similar organizations throughout the county for help in cracking down on tax fraud.
“It’s just a perimeter-type thing,” he said. “‘We want to make sure nothing has fallen between the cracks.”

Barber said his office has several ways of discovering fraudulent tax claims. For instance, it gets lists of rental permits issued by the cities (both Madison and Ridgeland require potential landlords to acquire such permits), and checks the listed properties against the renters’ tax filings.  Read more:

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