The new Mercedes Benz dealership in Ridgeland sent in incorrect information to the county Tax Assessor’s Office last year causing a personal property tax error to the tune of a couple hundred thousand dollars. To complicate matters, the incorrect amount may affect a the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bond on the project. 

Cindy Yarborough, corporate controller for Higginbotham Automobiles LLC, the company that owns the dealership, asked county supervisors last week to accept a corrected form for the personal property taxes. 

The tax bill Higginbotham received from the county for last year was over $358,000 and Tax Assessor Norman Cannady said approximately $235,000 of that could be incorrect. 

“When our rendition came in, there was a person here not authorized to fill out the rendition,” Yarborough told supervisors. “She listed the amount incorrectly. She listed the car inventory as opposed to the fixed assets.”

Yarborough was seeking to resubmit the rendition application with correct inventory numbers. 

Cannady told supervisors that he had the updated form. He said the form is due April 1 each year and his office received the form over two weeks later. 

Cannady said he then certified the numbers with the TIF documents to finance the bond. 

“Not only do we have an incorrect report, we have a certified TIF document with that number showing up,” he told supervisors. “They’re requesting a significant reduction.”

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop asked how that would affect the TIF. 

Board Attorney Katie Bryant Snell told the board she had not yet had an opportunity to look over the numbers and determine if it would affect the county’s ability to meet the TIF obligations. 

She said the board can allow the reduction because it was an error but she was unsure at the time how it would affect the TIF. 

Cannady said he was unaware of the process to correct the TIF documents. 

District 3 Supervisor Gerald Steen said there were some questions that need to be answered and proposed that the board table the matter until the next meeting. Supervisors unanimously approved Steen’s recommendation.