I'm a closing attorney. As part of my business, I facilitate real estate closings. A common issue that home buyers -- especially first-time home buyers -- must be aware of is the need to take affirmative action to qualify your property for homestead exemption.
State law provides you a significant tax break on ad valorem (property) taxes on property that is homestead exempt. If you have not already, go to your local tax assessor's office and fill out the necessary paperwork to make your primary residence homestead exempt.
Here is a link to paperwork from Rankin County to get the process started. Fill this out and take it into the Rankin County Tax Assessor's office between now and April 1.
For Madison County residents, go to this link to start the process.
If you have already qualified your home for homestead exemption, you don't have to do anything more. The exempt status carries over year after year. But if you bought a new home in 2016, you must qualify the new property for the exemption.
If you are not sure if your land is homestead exempt, call your local Tax Assessor's office. Whether Rankin or Madison, both are staffed by helpful, kind people.