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The Assessor is required by the Louisiana Constitution to list and value all taxable property on an assessment roll each year. The assessor values the subject properties at fair market value.  The assessed value is either a percentage of "fair market value", or "use value" as prescribed by law. Property is assessed as follows:

  • Land - 10% of its "fair market value". Some land may qualify for reduced agricultural valuations.
  • 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")

The assessor does not raise or lower taxes. The assessor does not make the laws which affect property owners. The assessor's primary responsibility is to determine the "fair market value" of your property so that you pay only your fair share of the taxes. What is the LA taxation process? 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 police jury, school board, etc., and are collected by the Sheriff's Office as Ex-Officio Tax Collector.

The "fair market value" for your property is determined by multiple factors including real estate transactions, current construction costs, zoning, economic changes, and other influencers. Using nationally recognized appraisal approaches, our office establishes the market value from which your assessed value is determined. After your appraisal has been made, the appropriate percentage of value, or level of assessment, required by law is calculated as your "assessed value".

Tax rates are based on millage, bond issues, and fees that have been voted by registered voters in the various districts which have been established by the Legislature or Constitution. The tax dollars collected for the districts go to pay for schools, roads, law enforcement, fire protection, and other services that the taxpayers demand and desire from local government. To calculate the taxes on your property, you must take the assessed value, which is a percentage of "fair market value", and multiply it by the appropriate tax or millage rate to arrive at the amount due. If, as an example, you have $1000 of taxable assessed value and the tax rate is 120 mills, you would pay $1000 x .120 = $120 in taxes. If your home is valued at $100,000, and you are eligible and have signed for homestead exemption, you would calculate your taxes as follow:

$100,000 (Fair Market Value)
x 10% (Level of Assessment)
= $10,000 (Assessed Value)
- 7,500 (Maximum Homestead Exemption)
= 2,500 (Taxable Value)
x .120 (Tax Rate)
= $300.00 (Total Parish Taxes Due)

Note: This example is for parish taxes only as homestead exemption does not apply to city taxes.

As a taxpayer, you have a certain legal responsibility to furnish accurate information on your property. Our office welcomes all information provided by the property owner. If you have complied with these legal requirements, you are entitled to question the value placed on your property. If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the Assessor's, you may come to our office to discuss the matter in person. Be prepared to show evidence that the Assessor's valuation of the property is incorrect. Our staff will be glad to answer your questions about the Assessor's appraisal. If, after discussing the matter with the Assessor, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the Ouachita Parish Board of Review according to procedures and published deadlines. After reviewing your appeal, if the Board agrees with the Assessor and a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal the Board's decision to the Louisiana State Tax Commission. If the Commission agrees with the Board and the Assessor, you can plead your case before the courts should you choose to do so.

Even if you do not receive a tax notice, it is your responsibility to be sure that the property taxes have been paid. You may contact the appropriate tax collector (Parish or City) to determine the amount of property taxes owed and whether or not the taxes have been paid. Tax bill info is available from the collector online at opso.net