Basic Property Tax Information for Louisiana Homeowners
Real property, which is land, buildings and other permanently attached improvements, are subject to a property tax in Louisiana. Property taxes are levied by the political subdivision where the property is located (also known as the “taxing authority”). There can be more than one taxing authority within a jurisdictional boundary. For example, if you live within the city limits of Baton Rouge, your real property is subject to taxes levied by the parish, the school board, and the city.
How is the amount of property tax determined?
The amount of the property tax is determined by the “millage rate” by the “assessed value” of the property. The “assessed value” is set by the parish assessor and the Louisiana Tax Commission, and it is determined by analyzing sales information of similar homes in your area, or fair market value. Your residential property then receives an assessed valuation of 10% of its estimated property value. For example, an estimated property value of $100,000 would calculate to an assessed value of $10,000.
The “millage rate” is established by local ordinance after approval of the local electorate. A mill is defined as 1/10 of 1 percent and is multiplied by the assessed value after any exemptions have been subtracted to calculate the taxes. For example, if the tax rate is 100 mills and the total assessed value is $10,000 with no exemptions, the taxes would be calculated as $10,000 x .100 = $1,000.00.
A state-wide reassessment is required at least every four (4) years, but a property may be reassessed at any time. The most recent reassessment in Louisiana was in 2016. An assessor is required to send written notice to property owners when their reassessment of the assessed value increases by 15% or more, and if the taxpayer has requested notification. The tax roll is open to public inspection every year between August 15 and September 15 (except Orleans Parish, which is July 15 – August 15). There is a process to appeal an assessed value.
There are tax exemptions available for homeowners. The “Homestead Exemption” applies to a homeowner’s “principle residence,” of which there can only be one, and they must own and occupy the property. The amount of the homestead exemption is up to $75,000 of the home’s fair market value (or $7,500 of the assessed value). This exemption may also be claimed on a homestead occupied by a usufructuary or beneficiary of a trust.
There is also a “special assessment level,” which is the authorization to freeze the amount of the assessed value for property owned and occupied by persons who are elderly, have a disability, and have an income below $75,594.07 (adjusted gross income):
- A person who is at least 65 years old, or
- A person with a disability rating of 100%, or
- A military service-related disability of at least 50%.
Also, the amount of the homestead exemption is doubled to $150,000 ($15,000 of the assessed value) for property owned and occupied by a military veteran having a service-related disability rating of 100%, or their spouse (as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).
When are property taxes due?
Property taxes are due annually on December 31st and will be paid by your lender if you selected to escrow them. Louisiana law states that the owner of the property as of January 1st of that year shall receive the tax bill in that name, so contact your parish assessor’s office upon buying or selling a home.