THE TAX MAN COMETH … HECK, HE IS HERE-ETH


Saturday, August 15, 2020, 5:20 P.M.

For those of us who own / are buying our homes, we expect our property tax bill to land with a splat in November or December.

Admittedly, I am a bit of a stickler about this piece of business.

As my research over the past decade has proven, our stunningly long list of individual property taxes we owe includes more than a few which were dishonestly levied … with no mention of how our total property tax burden was steadily ballooning.

For any who have not seen it, here is the YouTube video from Louisiana Public Broadcasting which details a bit of what I learned after my deep, deep dive into all of this in 2010 and 2011:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8xQuus6yQ4)

(To me, and to be blunt, our property tax lunacy here is like year-around hunting seasons … like coyotes and feral pigs, there is here a sort of open season on property tax payers. For example, there are thirty-one – 31! – different tax millages levied on my Shreveport home.)

There are only two pieces of this puzzle: (1) the taxes levied on us by elected officials – mayors, parish commissioners, school board members, etc. – and (2) the process determining the value of our property which will be subjected to the tax.

We elect the tax assessor to value our property and thus determine our share of this tax load.

Put officially, here is the statement on our City of Shreveport website:

“Property taxes are levied on land, improvements, business furniture and fixtures, and inventories. The assessed valuation for tax purposes … is set by the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor, subject to appeal to the Louisiana Tax Commission. All property within Caddo Parish must (by state law) be reassessed every four years.”

Note the final three words: “… every four years.”

Yep, 2020 is a reassessment year.

For those who do not understand how their homes or other taxable properties are valued / assessed, you need only contact staff in Caddo Parish Tax Assessor Charles Henington’s office. He has set August 27th through September 10th as the time period for those purposes.

For a relatively quick glance at the value of your “homestead,” go to www.caddoassessor.org and click-on “Search” at the top of the opening page. Then, enter your first and last name and click “Search” again.

When you see your “Owner Name” and “Property Address,” click on the “View” button at the top left of that record. You will then see specifics of your valuation data.

Scrolling to the bottom of the list of individual tax millages (entitled “Special Assessments” for some unknown reason), you will see three bolded dollar amounts, your …

… Total Tax (city and parish),

… Homestead (Exemption) Credit, and

… resulting “Tax Amount” owed.

If you DISAGREE with your valuation, call the Assessor’s Office at 318-227-6701. Be sure to clearly state the reason(s) you believe your valuation (tax bill) is too high. For example, you may have first-hand knowledge that some other nearby property which is directly comparable to yours is assessed at a lower value than is yours.

Yes, all of this can be depressing. Taxes usually are.

We who live here should know.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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