Frequently Asked Questions
The assessor is required by the Louisiana Constitution to list and value all property subject to ad valorem taxation on an assessment roll each year. The "ad valorem" basis for taxation means that all property should be taxed "according to value" which is the definition of ad valorem. The assessed value is a percentage of the "fair market value" or "use value" as prescribed by law. Property is assessed as follows:
- Land - 10% of its "fair market value" or "use value"
- Residential Improvements - 10% of "fair market value"
- Commercial Property - (including personal property) - 15% of "fair market value" (Note: Commercial land is assessed at 10% of "fair market value")
All public service properties are assessed by the Louisiana Tax Commission at a tax rate of 25% (excluding land).
The assessor does not raise or lower taxes. The assessor does not make the laws which affect property owners. The Constitution of the State of Louisiana, as adopted by the voters, provides the basic framework for taxation, and tax laws are made by the Louisiana Legislature. The rules and regulations for assessment are set by the Louisiana Tax Commission. The tax dollars are levied by the taxing bodies, such as the parish government, school board, etc., and are collected by the Sheriff's Office as Ex-Officio Tax Collector. The assessor's office has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The assessor's primary responsibility is to find the "fair market value" of your property so that you may only pay your fair share of the taxes.
Many factors are taken into consideration when finding the value of any piece of property. Some of those factors include comparables, how much it takes to operate and keep it in repair, any income it may have, and many other economic factors.
As a property owner, your rights include knowing how the assessor arrived at the values placed on your property. You have the right to look at the public records and ask questions. If you do not agree with the assessor's findings, you have the right to appeal. As a property owner, you have the responsibility to see that all taxes on your property are paid in a timely manner. It is your reponsibility to check with the assessor's office to determine if you are eligible for exemptions or special assessments.
It is advisable to go to the assessor's office and apply for Homestead Exemption as soon as you purchase and occupy your home. If you change your primary residence, you must notify the assessor.
A property's value can change for many reasons. The most obvious reason is physical changes - improvements or major damage. The most frequent reason is a change in the market.
If you disagree with the value placed on your property, and you wish to protest the value even after discussing it with the assessor, you must fill out the "Notice of Appeal Request For Board of Review" and schedule an appearance before the parish Board of Review for hearing(s) held for this purpose. The Board of Review will determine if any changes should be made to the assessment values in question. If either the assessor or the taxpayer is not satisfied with the decision of the Board of Review, either may fill out an "Appeal Form" for further review by the Louisiana Tax Commission. The Louisiana Tax Commission will consider any and all appeals that are timely filed in hearings that are open to the public. The assessor, parish Board of Review, and the Louisiana Tax Commission can be contacted for information on procedures, dates, and places of hearings.
Every person, association, company, or corporation who will own or hold, subject to his/her control, any tangible or intangible business personal property is required to report said property for assessment every year.
Public Utilities are valued by the Louisiana Tax Commission using the unit methodology which includes cost, income, and market approaches.
The assessment lists have to be open for public inspection for 15 days. These 15 days of open books occur sometime between August 15 and September 15 every year.