Extension Center Helps Officials Serve Public
Story by Susan Collins-Smith • Photos by Kevin Hudson
Eunice Blake has spent more than 35 years serving Amite County citizens in the tax assessor and collector’s office.
In those years, she’s looked to the Mississippi State University Extension Service for support.
Although Blake has worked in the tax assessor and collector’s office since 1980, she says the center helps her and her employees stay on top of new and changing information.
“I really like that Extension offers educational opportunities at different times and locations, so that we are able to schedule our trainings to better fit our schedules,” Blake says. “I also use and encourage my employees to use the resources on the website.”
Recently, the center has added regular live webinars to its educational lineup. This allows assessors and collectors to learn in their own offices, and the webinars also are recorded to accommodate schedule conflicts.
“Mississippi’s new tag and title system went live in October,” said Terence Norwood, an Extension instructor with the center. “This was a major system upgrade that affected every county in the state. The webinars helped us train everyone on the system to get them ready.”
Easily accessible resources and classroom instruction help officials and employees follow the strict rules of their jobs when serving Mississippi citizens.
Blake holds certifications from the following courses:
- Mississippi Certified Appraisers School.
- Collector of Revenue I.
- Collector of Revenue II.
She also attends the summer and fall educational conferences and takes advantage of the center’s webinars.
Through the center’s training, tax collectors and assessors learn about:
- valuating urban and agricultural land.
- preparing and maintaining tax rolls.
- appraising personal, residential, and commercial property.
- valuating and equalizing property for ad valorem purposes.