Louisiana Property Taxes
Overview of Louisiana Property Taxes
Unless exempted, every homeowner in Louisiana must pay property taxes every year. Louisiana property taxes are levied by local taxing authorities and provide a major source of revenue for local government units that include school districts, municipalities, and counties. Every year, the state and its local governments collect $42 billion in revenue. Of that, $4 billion comes from property taxes. Louisiana is generally a low tax state as indicated by the lower percentage of property taxes compared to total revenue collected. On average, a homeowner pays $5.05 for every $1,000 in home value in property taxes with the average Louisiana property tax bill adding up to $832. However, because of the varying tax rates between taxing districts, the average tax bill fluctuates from parish to parish.
How do Louisiana property taxes work? It starts with a valuation of the property. Each parish has assessors who are in charge of assessing property at least once every four years to determine their market value, or the amount a buyer would willingly pay for the property. Most assessors use a sales approach to determine the value of properties. A sales approach looks at the sales prices of nearby properties in a given locality. Once your property's market value has been established, the taxing districts apply an assessment ratio to get the assessed value. State laws dictate that residential properties be assessed at 10% of their market value. If your home has a market value of $150,000, your assessed value will be $15,000. A tax rate is then applied to that amount to determine your Louisiana property tax bill.
Louisiana property tax rates are set by different taxing districts depending on the amount of revenue they need to generate from property taxes. Subsequently, the total tax rate for you as a single homeowner is the sum of all tax rates from the local government units in a single district. Tax rates are expressed in mills with a mill equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed value. If your home has an assessed value of $15,000 and the taxing district where the property is located has a millage rate of 50, your Louisiana property tax bill will add up to $750.
If you are planning to buy a home in Louisiana and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Louisiana Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Louisiana Property Tax Due Dates
In Louisiana, the fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. Louisiana property tax bills are prepared and mailed to homeowners in mid-November. Failure to receive a tax bill does not excuse homeowners from paying property taxes. If you do not receive your tax bill, contact the Treasury Department. If your opinion of your home's value differs from that of the assessor's, you can appeal your property taxes. The appeal process typically starts with an informal meeting with the Assessor where you discuss the differences in opinion of your property's value. Many of the issues can be solved after this meeting however, if there is still a difference of opinion, further appeal avenues include the local Board of Review and finally, the Louisiana Tax Commission. It is noteworthy that you will be appealing the assessment, not the taxes. Louisiana property taxes must still be paid regardless of a pending outcome for the appeal.
When are property taxes due in Louisiana? Property taxes must be paid by December 31. Taxes that remain unpaid after the Louisiana property tax due date result in an interest computed at a rate of 1% per month until paid. The interest rate is multiplied by the unpaid principal balance with charges accruing monthly. The state allows you to make partial payments however, that does not stop the interest from being applied on late payments. If the taxes remain unpaid, your property is subjected to a tax sale, a public auction in which the highest bidder takes your property. The state gives you a three-year redemption period in which to pay the delinquent Louisiana property taxes, accrued interest, and additional costs.
Louisiana Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the aforementioned option of appealing property taxes, the state of Louisiana also offers several property tax exemptions to qualifying homeowners including the homestead and senior exemptions. Eligible homeowners can use these to aid in the reduction of their Louisiana property tax bill. Homeowners must still comply with Louisiana property tax due dates regardless of their eligibility for exemptions.
Louisiana Homestead Exemption
Louisiana's homestead exemption exempts the first $75,000 of your home value or $7,500 of assessed value from Louisiana property taxes. This exemption benefits all homeowners as long as you own and occupy the residence by December 31st of the applicable tax year. Once the exemption is applied, the state does not require you to reapply for it unless there is a change of ownership.
Louisiana Senior Citizens Exemption
Louisiana's senior exemption is also known as the Senior Citizens Special Assessment Level Homestead Exemption "freeze". Homeowners who qualify for this exemption receive a freeze on their property's assessed value. To qualify, homeowners must meet certain income limit requirements as set by the Louisiana legislature, be at least 65 years of age, and occupy the property as their principal residence. This exemption is permanent for eligible homeowners as long as they continue residing at the property and its value doesn't increase by more than 25% due to construction or renovation.
Other Louisiana property tax exemptions include the disabled veteran's exemption. Under this exemption, $15,000 of a home's assessed value or $150,000 of market value is exempted from Louisiana property taxes. Eligible veterans must have a service-related disability rating of 100% as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The surviving, unmarried spouse of a qualifying veteran can also benefit from this exemption.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Louisiana
If you have reason to disagree with the Assessor's valuation of your property, the state of Louisiana allows you to appeal property taxes. Appealing can save you hundreds of dollars and lower your Louisiana property tax bill. State laws require the Assessor's Office to open its tax lists for public inspection for 15 calendar days between July 15 and August 15. It is during this period that you should discuss discrepancies in your property's valuation with the assessor. If you disagree with the assessor, you can file your appeal with the local Board of Review by completing a form Notice of Appeal Request for Board of Review. The local board's decisions can be further appealed to the Louisiana Tax Commission. You can contact your local assessor after August 1 to know the open dates scheduled for tax appeal hearings for that year.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Louisiana though it generally follows the same steps from parish to parish:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in East Baton Rouge Parish
To help you understand how to appeal your property taxes in Louisiana, the following is a breakdown of the process in East Baton Rouge Parish, the most populous parish in Louisiana.
Obtain your assessment
If you are a homeowner in East Baton Rouge Parish, you can easily obtain your assessment details by consulting the local assessor between July 15 and August 15.
Determine if you are over-assessed
Your property's valuation is mainly based on the sales prices of similar properties within your locality. You can use TaxProper's search tool to look for sales of homes similar to yours and compare their values to your property's valuation.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The form you need to appeal property taxes is called Notice of Appeal Request for Board of Review (Form 3101). It will be provided to you at the Assessor's Office.
File property tax appeal
Property tax appeals in East Baton Rouge Parish are filed with the local Board of Reviews.
Prepare for hearing
Preparing for an appeal hearing includes presenting evidence supporting your opinion of value and showing why the assessor's valuation is wrong. Evidence includes and is not limited to recent appraisal(s), insurance policy, photographs of the property, and repair estimates from a contractor.
The local Board of Reviews requires you or your representative to attend the property tax appeal hearing. Hearings with the Board of Review can also be conducted via telephone.
Appeal the decision
If you are dissatisfied with the local board's decision, another appeal can be filed with the Louisiana Tax Commission.
Property Tax Information for Louisiana Parishes
The table below provides parish-level information about how property taxes work in each Louisiana parish.
Want to learn more? Click the parish links to learn more about a specific Louisiana parish.
|Parish||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|
|De Soto Parish||$117,169||$300||$2.60|
|East Baton Rouge Parish||$201,936||$1,135||$5.60|
|East Carroll Parish||$78,917||$177||$2.20|
|East Feliciana Parish||$163,789||$286||$1.70|
|Jefferson Davis Parish||$113,705||$346||$3.00|
|Pointe Coupee Parish||$151,680||$436||$2.90|
|Red River Parish||$99,677||$190||$1.90|
|St. Bernard Parish||$138,999||$518||$3.70|
|St. Charles Parish||$191,603||$1,005||$5.20|
|St. Helena Parish||$123,895||$246||$2.00|
|St. James Parish||$144,265||$528||$3.70|
|St. John the Baptist Parish||$152,291||$563||$3.70|
|St. Landry Parish||$117,660||$249||$2.10|
|St. Martin Parish||$122,012||$349||$2.90|
|St. Mary Parish||$112,720||$426||$3.80|
|St. Tammany Parish||$221,448||$1,706||$7.70|
|West Baton Rouge Parish||$155,073||$640||$4.10|
|West Carroll Parish||$83,429||$91||$1.10|
|West Feliciana Parish||$212,028||$969||$4.60|