FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Car owners are required to pay for a car tag in Mississippi, but where the car is registered depends on how much that tag will cost.
Forrest County Tax Collector Delbert Dearman explained that it is a complex equation since it is different in every area of the state, but it ultimately comes down to the other taxes.
"The municipal taxes- one is paying city taxes and one is not," said Dearman when explaining the differences between Hattiesburg car owners and those in Forrest County. "Then you have the difference in vehicles- age of vehicle and what not."
When a car is registered in Mississippi, car owners pay a privilege tax, registration fee under 15 dollars, ad valorem tax and a sales tax. Depending on where the vehicle is registered, other taxes could apply.
For example, the millage rate for Hattiesburg Public Schools has increased over the past four years, whereas Forrest County's has not. Dearman said that plus city taxes cause car tag prices to be more expensive in the city.
Prices fluctuate each year, depending on if the governing bodies of the city and county decide to increase the tax levy. Monies from the car tags go toward different areas- state, city, county, forestry commission, schools, among other things.
Dearman said that Mississippi has one of the lowest overall tax rates in the country, and the state association for tax collectors and assessors helped get a legislative credit passed in the 90s that has kept car tags at a low price.
For more information on car tags in Mississippi, click here.