abstract - to reduce a legal description of a property to another form; also, to identify a property from its legal description

acre - a land measure equal to 43,560 square feet or 160 square rods

acreage - unsubdivided land that is customarily measured in terms of acres rather than front feet or square feet

ad valorem - according to value

agricultural land - improved or unimproved land that is devoted to or available for the production of agricultural products, livestock, and agricultural support buildings

assessed value - a value set on real estate and personal property by a government as a basis for levying taxes; the monetary amount for a property as officially entered on the assessment roll for purposes of computing the tax levy

assessment - in general, the official act of determining the amount of the tax base; as applied to property taxes, the official act of discovering, listing, and appraising property; the value placed on property in the course of such an act

assessment ratio - the fractional relationship an assessed value bears to the market value of the property in question

block - an urban area, usually consisting of several lots, enclosed on all sides by public streets or by public streets and a river, a railroad right-of-way, or other more or less permanent boundary; sometimes called a "square"

book* - contains conveyences, which are listed by pages, that have been recorded in the Clerk of Court's office; abbreviatied as "B"

chain - a land measure of 66 feet or four rods or 100 links

comparables - recently sold properties that are similar in important respects to a property being appraised; the sale price and the physical, functional, and locational characteristics of each of the properties are compared to those of the property being appraised in order to arrive at an estimate of value

deed - a document or written legal instrument which, when executed and delivered, conveys an interest in or legal title to a property

depreciation - loss in value of an object, relative to its replacement cost new, reproduction cost new, or original cost, whatever the cause of the loss in value

donation - deed in which the vendor gives interest, whether it be all or a portion, of property to the vendee; abbreviated as "don"

easement - a right held by one person to use the land of another person for a specific purpose, such as access to other property

estate - the interest which a person possesses in a single concrete article of property; the aggregate property of all descriptions left by a decedent; abbreviated as "est"

et al* - and others

et ux* - and wife

et vir* - and husband

exemption - SEE homestead exemption, industrial exemption

fair market value - SEE market value and/or Fair Market Value

field inspection - the practice of reviewing the reasonableness of assessments by viewing the properties in question, sometimes by examining their interiors but more often by looking at their exteriors

frontage - the extent of a parcel of land along a street, road, river, or other traffic artery on which the parcel is said to face

headright* - an irregularly shaped section

homestead - a building occupied by the owner of the freehold and his/her family, with the primary intention of making it their home, together with the parcel of land on which it stands and the other improvements on the land

homestead exemption - freedom of part or all of the value of a homestead from property taxation; a reduction in the property tax base; abbreviated as "H/E" or sometimes "H/S"; SEE Homestead Exemption

horticultural land* - improved or unimproved land that is devoted to or available for the production of crops, nurseries, etc.

improvement - anything done to raw land with the intention of increasing its value; a structure erected on the property constitutes one very common type of improvement, although other actions, such as those taken to improve drainage, are also improvements

industrial exemption - an exemption granted to property used in industrial pursuits as a means of stimulating industrial development or inducing relocation of plants; a reduction in the property tax base; SEE Industrial Exemption

instrument - a formal legal document such as a deed, contract, will, or lease

inventory - the group of personal property items whose value is exhibited by value in exchange, that is, ownership is solely for the purpose of sale rather than use; in general, any detailed list showing quantities and descriptions, and usually values or prices, of property

jurisdiction - the right and power to interpret and apply the law and the power to tax and govern; the territorial range of authority or control

land sale history* - record of all property sales that have been recorded in the Clerk of Court

land value - an ad valorem property tax measured by the value of land exclusive of any improvements thereon

legal description - a delineation of dimensions, boundaries, and relevant attributes of a real property parcel that serve to identify the parcel for all purposes of law

link - a land measure of 7.92 inches; successive ownership of a particular property in the chain of title

lot - any one of the marketable parcels into which a tract of land is divided upon platting; applied especially to urban land

market - the topical area of common interest in which buyers and sellers interact; the collective body of buyers and sellers for a particular product

market value - the most probable price (in terms of money) which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, they buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus

marsh land* - low-lying improved or unimproved land, though usually unimproved, that is normally in a flood zone

mill - one mill is one-thousandth of one dollar or one-tenth of one cent

millage rate - a tax rate expressed as mills per dollar; for example: a 2% tax rate is $2 per $100, $20 per $1,000, or 20 mills per dollar

page* - numerically listed conveyences, which are kept in books, that have been recorded at the Clerk of Courts office; abbreviated as "P"

parcel (of land) - a contiguous urban or rural land area that is considered as a unit, is subject to single ownership, and is legally recorded as a single piece

personal property - consists of every kind of property that is not real property; movable without damage to itself or the real estate; subdivided into tangible and intangible; also called "personalty"

plat - a map intended to show the division of land into lots or parcels; upon recordation with the appropriate authorities, land included in the plan can thenceforth be legally described by reference to the plat, omitting a metes and bounds description

plot - a relatively small area of land, generally used for a specific purpose; a measured area of land; lot

public utilities* - assessment of utility services, such as electricity, telephone services, water services, etc.

quitclaim deed - a deed in which the grantor conveys or relinquishes all interests that he/she may have in a property, without warrant as to the extent or validity of such interests; abbreviated as "Q/C"

range - one of a series of survey lines running due north and south at six-mile intervals, used for locating parcels of land under government survey; abbreviated as "R"

real estate - the physical parcel of land and all improvements permanently attached

real property - consists of the interests, benefits, and rights inherent in the ownership of land plus anything permanently attached to the land or legally defined as immovable; the bundle of rights with which ownership of real estate is endowed; to the extent that "real estate" commonly includes land and any permanent improvements, the two terms can be understood to have the same meaning; also called "realty"

restoration abatement - SEE Restoration Abatement

right of way - an easement consisting of a right of passage through the servient estate (preferred)

rod - a land measure of 16 1/2 feet or 25 links; also called a "pole"

rolling stock* - stock that travels through the parish on trains

section - a unit of land approximately one mile square and normally containing 640 acres, as laid out by the government survey; abbreviated as "sec" or "S"

sheriff's sale* - sale of property of which the mortgage has been unpaid for a certain amount of time; abbreviated as "S/S"

subdivision - a tract of land that has been divided into marketable building lots and such public and private ways as are required for access to those lots, and that is covered by a recorded plat; abbreviated as "sub"

succession - the passing of real property by inheritance or will; abbreviated as "succ"

tax - a compolsory charge levied by a government unit against the income or property of a person, natural or corporate, for the common benefit of all citizens; the term does not include specific charges made against particular persons or property for current or permanent benefits and privileges accruing only to those paying such charges, such as licenses, permits, and specific assessments

tax rate - for property tax, the percentage of assessed value at which each property is taxed in a given district

tax roll - an official list showing the amount of taxes charged against each taxpayer and/or each property within the jurisdiction of a tax district; can also be known as "assessment roll"

tax sale - sale of a taxpayer's property by a public authority so that delinquent taxes may be collected from the proceeds; usually preceded by a period during which the taxpayer can pay delinquent taxes, and followed by a period during which the taxpayer can redeem the property from the purchaser; abbreviated as "T/S"

tax value* - synonymous with assessed value; 10% of the fair market value of land and residential property, 15% of commercial buildings, 25% of public utilities; SEE Ratios

timber land* - improved or unimproved land that is devoted to or available for the production of timber

title - the union of all elements constituting proof of property ownership or the instrument that is evidence of ownership

township - one of a series of survey lines running due east and west at six-mile intervals on either side of a base line, used for locating parcels of land under government survey; abbreviated as "T"

true value - synonymous with the preferred term "market value"

trust - an agreement whereby the owner of property (the settlor) transfers legal title to a second party (the trustee), such property to be held, managed, or disposed of for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary) or the settlor, or both, as set forth in the trust agreement

unit - the property being appraised

use value - the value of property in a specific use; property used entirely for a specific purpose or use that may entitle the property to be assessed at a different level than others in the same jurisdiction; examples of properties that may be assessed at use value under the statutes include agricultural land, horticultural land, timber land, and marsh land

value - the relationship between an object desired and a potential owner; may also be described as present worth of future benefits arising from the ownership of real or personal property

vendee - one who purchases; synonymous with "buyer"

vendor - one who transfers property by sale; synonymous with "seller"

ward* - division of the parish into different parts for assessment/taxing purposes; Tangipahoa parish has 8 wards, not including sub-wards

All definitions, unless noted otherwise (*), were taken from: International Association of Assessing Officers. Glossary for Property Appraisal and Assessment. Chicago: IAAO, 1997.