Photo: Customers waited in line to pay taxes or renew car tags as the new DeSoto County Tax Collector-North location opened Friday morning. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
DeSoto County Tax Collector Joey Treadway said there were already close to a dozen people waiting to renew car tags or pay taxes when the new DeSoto County Tax Collector-North office opened Friday morning at 8 a.m.
The new location is at 6040 Highway 51 N. off Nail Road in Horn Lake, inside what has been a vacant bank building that officials said was an original DeSoto Bank location, later home to a First Commercial Bank, up until about six years old.
Paying your car tags or property taxes had been done in a building further up Highway 51 North in Southaven until Tuesday, Dec. 19, when it closed to make the move. Friday was the first day of operation in the new location and it was already busy when the doors opened.
Treadway said the new office offers a number of advantages, including a more central location for the north and western part of the county.
“Southaven was great for us, the building was great, but the county sold the building so we had to move,” Treadway said. “If you dropped a plum to where we were trying to cover Southaven, Horn Lake, Walls, Lake Cormorant, and Nesbit, you’re going to hit this building almost in the center.”
Treadway was quick to point out that while the address is now Horn Lake, city officials of both Horn Lake and Southaven helped in finding the new county building and the name reflects that.
“Mayors Allen Latimer and Darren Musselwhite both were involved in looking for buildings,” Treadway pointed out. “This thing is not a Horn Lake-Southaven deal. This is a joint project. We’re seriously telling people that this is DeSoto County Tax Collector North.”
The building offers a new feature for the office. Customers have a drive-thru feature for tax payments, including renewals.
“We have one drive-thru window right now but we’re going to eventually have three drive-thru windows for renewals and stuff like that,” said Treadway. “Not new tags, because new transactions will have to be done inside. But property taxes, renewals, and everything else can go through the renewal window. We think it’s going to be great.”
The county tax collector also believes that payment kiosks that were in use before will see more business because they will have a more prominent view in the front lobby.
“In the other building the only place we could put them was against the wall and as customers would walk in they never saw them,” he said. “We think the whole industry is moving that way, toward kiosks. If you don’t keep up you’re going to get behind.”
County taxpayers still have offices in Hernando, inside the County Administration Building, and in Olive Branch, at 6597 B.J. Chain Drive, available. Hours are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Treadway said the move will be a welcome change for his employees and for customers.
“It just made sense for us to do it, and we got lucky to be able to get the building,” Treadway exclaimed. “It was pretty much set up as it was, and it’s just great.”