In Spending, taxes

Many residents received notice their property tax assessments have increased drastically in the New Orleans’ area.  According to Nola.com, some residents’ assessments have increased more than 100% from its previous estimate in 2016.

The law requires Louisiana assessors to reassess properties every four years.  As such, many properties in the metropolitan area have seen a drastic increase.  This increase is predicated on the rising home values in the area.

Property values are increasing across the nation. Because of these high assessments, property owners are likely to pay higher tax bills.  Moreover, while property owners can contest their assessments annually, less than 5% do so.

What should residents do?

First, you should determine the value of your assessment by visiting the website. Next, if you do not agree with the evaluation, you should consider filing an appeal. This means that property owners can contest their tax assessment if they are not agreement. In Orleans Parish, you can file an appeal until August 22th by 4 p.m. Property owners can do so two ways, through an informal or formal process.  The informal process allows property owners to go to one of the locations, which includes: City Hall (1300 Period, 4th Floor), Algiers Courthouse (225 Morgan Street), and Lakeview Christian Center (5885 Fleur De Lis Drive). The formal process allows property owners to contest their assessments online.

Who should contest their values?

Keep in mind, the assessor’s office assesses values based on current sales values.  If you believe your property has a unique situation that would lead to a declining amount – you should consider appealing the assessment.  Therefore, it is appropriate to contest your property assessment if the value does not reflect what you can sell at this time.

What should you bring?

If you fall into this category, you may consider submitting the following documents to prove that your value is not the same as the assessment:

  • A recent appraisal
  • Builder’s contract
  • Insurance documents
  • Pictures (must be recent, printed and dated)
  • Real estate sales comparisons based on your square footage, and
  • Other documentation to prove your case.

Take advantages of freezes and exemptions

Homestead Exemption – A homestead exemption is available to exempt the first $75,000 of your property tax assessment. Also, if you are declared 100% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (or a surviving spouse of a veteran, fireman, or state trooper killed in the line of duty), then you can exempt the first $150,000 of your property tax assessment.

Freeze of Assessment – If you are over the age of 65 years of age or older, have a permanent disability (or a surviving spouse of a member of the Armed Forces or Louisiana National Guard killed in action) you may qualify for a Special Assessment Level if you meet certain conditions. The “freeze” keeps your assessment at its same value despite rising market prices.

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