Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the purpose of the Assessor's Office?

When property is bought and sold, the Assessor's office records the transfer of the property to reflect the most current owner in preparation for the annual assessment roll. The Assessor's office is responsible for uniformly and accurately appraising and assessing all property in Jefferson Parish for property tax purposes.

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What is the Homestead Exemption?

The original homestead exemption was created many years ago. Its intention was to exempt as many homes as possible from the payment of property taxes. In 1980, voters, statewide, approved an increase in the homestead exemption to its current level of $75,000.

The homestead exemption allows that the first $7500 of assessed value on an owner occupied home will be exempt from property taxation.

The homestead exemption is permanent as long as the homeowner continues to own and permanently reside at that location. If the owner moves to another location or sells the property, the homestead exemption on that property will be canceled.

Only one homestead exemption in the State of Louisiana can be granted on a home that is owned and permanently occupied as a domicile. A homestead exemption cannot be applied to a property that is not permanently occupied by its owner.

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How do I file for Homestead Exemption?

You must appear in person at either location of the Jefferson Parish Assessor's office to sign for the homestead exemption. You should bring with you a copy of your act of sale for the property and a photo identification showing the address of the property on which the homestead exemption is being filed. If a husband and wife own the property jointly, only one has to appear in person. After you have initially filed for your homestead exemption, each year thereafter, you will receive a receipt in the mail showing your homestead exemption is permanent. You will no longer be eligible for the homestead exemption on that home should you move to another location or sell your house.

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What is the Special Assessment Level Homestead Exemption for Senior Citizens and for Persons with Certain Disabilities?

In 1998 a constitutional amendment was passed that allows the assessed value on a home owned and occupied by a person 65 years of age or older and who meets certain income requirements to receive a "freeze" in the assessed value of their home. This "freeze" became effective January 1, 2000.

In 2006 a constitutional amendment was passed that allows the assessed value on a home owned and occupied by a person with certain disabilities and who meet certain income requirements to receive a "freeze" in the assessed value of their home. This freeze became effective January 1, 2007.

The purpose of this legislation was to provide property owners in their senior years and property owners with certain disabilities with some protection from escalating property values due to inflation. Since its inception, this special assessment level exemption has led to thousands of dollars in savings for seniors and property owners with certain disabilities especially during the years when property values are reassessed.

Homeowners who are 65 years or older, or who have a permanent disability, or are the surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces or Louisiana National Guard killed in action, missing in action, or a prisoner of war may be able to "freeze" the assessed value at which their home is assessed if they meet certain conditions. The homeowner must have a homestead exemption applied to the property for which they are seeking the special assessment level and must meet certain income requirements.

The Special Assessment Level Homestead Exemption "freeze" only freezes the assessed value of your home. It does not "freeze" the tax rate on which your annual property tax bill is based. Your property tax bill may vary from year to year based on millage rate changes. Millage rates are levied by each taxing body. The Assessor's office is not responsible for setting millage rates.

If property owners continue to approve new millages, your taxes will continue to increase.

To qualify for the Senior Citizens Special Assessment Level Homestead Exemption "freeze" you must meet both of the following: You must be 65 years of age or older by the end of the year in which you are applying. Additionally you must meet the income requirement as set forth by the Louisiana legislature. This income requirement changes annually. You may call the Assessor's office for the most up to date income requirement. Once you qualify for the special assessment level homestead exemption, it will become permanent as long as you continue to own and occupy your home and as long as the value of the property does not increase more than twenty-five percent because of construction or reconstruction.

To qualify for the Disability-Related Special Assessment Level Homestead Exemption "freeze" you must meet the income requirement as set forth by the Louisiana legislature. This income requirement changes annually. You may call the Assessor's office for the most up to date income requirement. Please note that once you qualify for and receive the special assessment level homestead exemption for disability you must reapply each year. In addition to the income requirement, you must also meet one of the following requirements:

1. A homeowner who occupies their home and who has a service-connected disability rating of fifty percent or more by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

OR

2. The surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Louisiana National Guard who owned and last occupied such property who was killed in action, or who is missing in action or is a prisoner of war for a period exceeding ninety days.

OR

3. A homeowner who occupies their home and is permanently totally disabled as determined by a final non-appealable judgment of a court or as certified by a state or federal administrative agency charged with the responsibility for making determinations regarding disabilities.

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What is the $15,000 homestead exemption for 100% disabled veterans?

The voters of Jefferson Parish recently passed this exemption into law and it becomes effective beginning January 1, 2012. This exemption is for a 100% disabled veteran as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to the initial $7500 homestead exemption, it exempts from property taxation the next $7500 of assessed value of a home owned and occupied by a disabled veteran. Also, eligible for this exemption is the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who had a service-connected disability rating of 100% and this exemption was in effect on the property prior to the death of the disabled veteran and as long as the surviving spouse resides in the home remains the owner.

An eligible owner shall apply for this special $15,000 homestead exemption by filing for and signing an application with the Assessor's office establishing that the owner qualifies for this exemption. The qualified homeowner must also produce documents from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showing the extent of the disability

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How are property values determined?

Property values are determined by at least one, and up to three, generally recognized appraisal procedures: the market sales comparison, the cost approach, and the income approach.

Actual selling prices of properties are excellent indicators of market value, and form the basis for the market sales comparison approach. This is a method in which actual sale prices of similar property groups are analyzed with statistical procedures. Equations are developed that allow value estimates to be calculated for similar properties based on the respective property data on file.

Construction costs paid by property owners provide very relevant data used in the cost approach. This method is based on actual costs to construct new buildings and is obtained from property owners, builders, building permits, building contracts, and other sources. Costs are analyzed and adjusted by estimated depreciation factors, and added to land values, to determine overall value indications for similar properties.

Income producing properties are most suited to valuation by the income approach. This method is based on the premise that a parcel's value is defined by the income it provides. Analysis of actual rents and expenses obtained from the market are then applied to similar property groups.

All three methods rely on accurate information to obtain the best possible results. It is very important that the assessor have correct data on file for each property. Data is collected from various sources, and taxpayers can ensure accurate valuations by providing the assessor with correct data on the property that they own.

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When is property reappraised?

State law requires assessors to re-appraise all real estate at least once every four years. The last re-appraisal was in 2008, and the next one will be applied in 2012. Interim years between re-appraisals are spent recording physical changes to properties and changes in ownership of properties. Collection of data on sale prices, building costs, property characteristics, rents, and operating expenses are incidental to these activities, and provide the assessor with the information needed to measure values for subsequent re-appraisals.

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What is a millage or tax rate?

Property taxes are levied by millage or tax rates. A mill is defined as one-tenth of one cent. Most millage rates are approved when voted upon by voters of Jefferson Parish.

In Jefferson Parish, eighteen different wards levy different millage rates. Revenue derived from the various millage levies benefit numerous public services. Some of those services include; schools, law enforcement, fire protection, drainage, water and sewerage treatment, streets, lighting, public libraries, playgrounds, levee protection and more. Millage rates are levied by each taxing body. Please note that the Assessor's office is not responsible for setting millage rates.

View the Millage Chart

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Who is responsible for the collection of property taxes?

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff is also the Tax Collector. That office is responsible for mailing property tax notices and collecting taxes based on the assessments and the millage rates for each property.

If your property is located in one of the five municipalities that are within Jefferson Parish, in addition to your property tax bill from Jefferson Parish, you will receive a property tax bill from the municipality as well. Those municipalities are the City of Gretna, the City of Westwego, the Town of Grand Isle, the City of Harahan, and the City of Kenner. Each municipality is responsible for mailing tax notices and collecting the taxes.

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What is the ratio for assessing property?

In Louisiana, the ratio for assessing property is uniform throughout the state. The value that the Assessor determines is calculated at a percentage of the fair market value. Those ratios are:

All land, residential property, including homes, residential rentals, and apartments are assessed at 10% of fair market value.

All commercial buildings and business personal property (movables) are assessed at 15% of fair market value.

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How do I dispute my assessment?

When a property owner disagrees with the estimated market value the Assessor has placed on a property, the owner can appeal to the Assessor's office for a review when the books are open for public inspection. The Jefferson Parish Assessor's Office has its "books open" for public inspection for a period of fifteen (15) days each year between August 1 and ending no later than September 15 as provided in R.S. 47:1992 of the Louisiana Constitution. You may call the Assessor's office after the beginning of the year to obtain the dates that the books will be open.

During that 15-day "books open" period, you can contact the Assessor's office and provide documentation that shows what you think the actual fair market value of your property should be. You will find appeals forms in this website that pertain to your particular type of property. This form will give you specific information of what you will need to provide to the Assessor's office for an appeal of your property.

Please remember that you must include documentation that supports your claim that your property value may be incorrect.

In some cases a personal property assessment can be amended. For instructions on how to do this, please call 504-362-4100 and click here.

If your property sustained significant structural damage from Hurricane Isaac and you feel your property value changed, please click here.

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