A Closer Look at Car Tags


By: Steve Hopkins

Car Tags!

By far the subject that I get the most comments/ questions about concerns car tags.

• Please do something about the outrageous car tag cost.
• Why are car tags so high?
• Does the high tag cost adversely affect new car sales?
• Why can’t we go to a flat tag fee like Tennessee?

In Mississippi, you pay privilege tax, registration fees, ad valorem taxes and possibly sales or use tax when you tag your vehicle. Insane right? Registration fees are $12.75 for renewals and $14.00 for first time registrations. All the other taxes are based on the type of vehicle, the value of that vehicle, and where you live (city, county).​

What makes Mississippi tags so expensive? The ad valorem property tax! Ad valorem taxes are levied by counties, municipalities and school districts. The State Legislature does control the “rate of assessment” which is currently 30% for vehicles and reduces over a 10 year period to account for depreciation.

The question then becomes can the State Legislature do anything about it. Yes the State Legislature could pass a law to go to a flat tag fee like Tennessee but that would most likely mean county and city governments would raise property taxes to compensate for the loss.

The real question should be how likely is it that the State Legislature would even consider such legislation. Not likely at all because of the pressure put on the legislators by local governments to keep their revenue stream intact. All that being said I will be submitting legislation in the 2018 session to reduce the rate of assessment from 30% to 15%.

If it were solely up to me we would go to a flat $65 tag fee but the likelihood of such legislation being considered isn’t very good.

Together we can make positive, conservative change in Mississippi but it begins and ends with the people of our state and how engaged in the process you are. So please stay engaged, stay informed, ask questions and never take a politicians word on blind faith.

Steve Hopkins
State Representative
District 7