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How do I calculate my property taxes?

To calculate taxes on your property, simply multiply the assessed value ( a percentage of the fair market value) by the applicable millage rate. Millage rates are established by the various taxing jurisdictions levying property taxes; one mill is equal to one tenth of one percent (.001).

The following examples of tax calculations are on both residential and commercial properties assuming a land fair market value of $50,000, an improvement fair market value of $100,000 and a millage rate of 80.69 mills:

Land only, no improvements
Assessed value @ 10%   5,000
Taxable value                  5,000
Millage rate                     .10607
Taxes due                         530.35

Residence with homestead exemption
Assessed value @ 10%   15,000
Homestead exemption   (7,500)
Taxable value                   7,500
Millage rate                      .10607
Taxes due                          795.52

Residence w/o homestead exemption
Assessed value @ 10%   15,000
Homestead exemption   -0-
Taxable value                  15,000
Millage rate                     .10607
Taxes due                         1,591.05

Commercial land w/improvements
Land assessed value @ 10%   5,000
Impr. assessed value @ 15%  15,000
Taxable value                            20,000
Millage rate                               .10607
Taxes due                                   2,121.40

What are the property classifications and levels of assessment in Louisiana?

Property classifications and levels of assessment in Louisiana are as follows:

Land 10%
Residential Improvements (includes multi-family) 10%
Commercial Improvements 15%
Public Service Properties (excludes land) 25%
Business Personal Property 15%

(Level of assessment is the percentage of a property’s fair market value subject to ad valorem taxation; all Public Service Properties shall be assessed by the Louisiana Tax Commission.)

What causes value to change?

A property’s value can change for many reasons. The most obvious reason is the property itself changes. A new addition such as a bedroom or garage may be added or part of the property may suffer damage from a flood or fire.

The most frequent cause of a change in a property’s value occurs because of a change in the marketplace. Major industries may shutdown causing property values to decline. Young homebuyers may discover a decaying neighborhood with good housing stock, values may rise gradually, and then possibly skyrocket if the neighborhood becomes a desirable location. In these cases, the Assessor has not created the increase or decrease in property values, the market has. The Assessor simply has the legal responsibility to monitor the market and appraise your property accordingly.

What does the assessment process involve?

The assessment process involves discovering and listing information about properties and determining property values. It also involves analyzing the values to ensure they meet the standards of fair and equitable assessment, allowing taxpayers the opportunity to inspect and appeal values, and certifying the assessment roll to an appropriate local Board of Review and the Louisiana Tax Commission. Guidelines for assessment practices in Louisiana are set forth in the State Constitution and the Revised Statutes of the State of Louisiana.

1.) Information Collection
The first step in the assessment process is to gather information on ownership, location, building measurements, use, sales, construction types and construction costs. For incoming producing properties, income and expense data may be gathered and analyzed. Primary sources for this information are real property deeds/conveyances, building permits, conversations with property owners and local building contractors, and national information providers such as Marshall and Swift. The Assessor stores, updates and maintains this information for current and future use in the assessment process.

2.) Estimating Fair Market Value
Fair market value is determined by using one of three generally accepted approaches to value; the cost approach, the sales comparison approach and the income approach. To appraise property using these methods, the Assessor and staff must review information gathered on individual properties, know what similar properties are selling for and how much it would cost for replacement. Other factors influencing fair market value may be location, availability of services and rental rates. Louisiana law mandates Assessors revalue every four years; 2024 is the next revaluation year in Louisiana. New construction (as well as any other revaluation) occurring between revaluation years is valued or indexed according to values used during the last revaluation.

3.) Inspection and Appeals
Assessment lists shall be open for public inspection each year for a period of fifteen days, beginning no earlier than August 15th and ending no later than September 15th. The dates, time and place of the public exposure of the assessment lists of both real and personal property shall be published by the Assessor in the official publication of the Parish. During the period of public exposure, the Assessor shall provide taxpayers access to a form entitled “Exhibit A, Appeal to Board of Review by Taxpayer” (Form 3101).

The Assessor shall publish notice of the Parish’s Board of Review (the Board) appeal hearing dates in the official publication of the parish. The Parish Council shall serve as the Board in West Baton Rouge Parish for a period of ten days (beginning on the eighth day and concluding on the eighteenth day following the final assessment lists exposure date). The Board of Review shall hear the complaints of qualified persons as provided by R.S. 47:1992 provided the complaint is submitted in writing (Form 3101). The determination of the Board shall be final unless appealed, in writing, to the Louisiana Tax Commission using a form entitled Exhibit A, Appeal to Louisiana Tax Commission by Taxpayer or Assessor (Form 3103.A). For more detailed information on the appeals process, please contact our office.

Who is the Assessor and what are their duties?

The Assessor is the elected official responsible for establishing the value of property (real and personal) for ad valorem tax purposes. The “ad valorem” basis of taxation means all property is to be taxed solely according to its value.

The following are duties of the Assessor:
1.) Locate and identify all taxable property in the jurisdiction(discover)
2.) Make an inventory of all taxable property, including quantity, quality, and important characteristics(list)
3.) Classify each property and determine the extent to which it is taxable
4.) Estimate the fair market value of each taxable property(value)
5.) Calculate the taxable value of each property
6.) Prepare and certify the assessment roll of the entire jurisdiction
7.) Notify the owners of the taxable value of their properties
8.) Defend value estimates and valuation methods during appeals

The Assessor does not raise or lower taxes and does not make the laws which affect property owners. The Louisiana Constitution provides the basic framework for ad valorem taxation, the Louisiana Tax Commission establishes the rules and regulations for assessment purposes and the Sheriff’s Office, as Ex-Officio Tax Collector, collects the tax dollars levied by the various taxing jurisdictions such as school boards, parish councils or law enforcement districts.

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