The Louisiana State Constitution mandates that every assessor must perform a parishwide re-evaluation of all properties at least once every four years. In Tangipahoa Parish we perform a re-evaluation every four years. The next re-evaluation will be in 2024.

Performing a re-evaluation every four years will automatically cause the property value of a parcel of land or a building to be below market value as you move towards the next re-assessment four years later. During this period, property owners will save tax dollars because the “market value” on the tax roll does not change even though the “true market value” is increasing every year.

The assessor must also index all sales of properties during the interim four year period back to what he/she believes the market value would have been at the last re-assessment cycle. This is required by state law. Using state law as a guideline, “market value” for assessment purposes and “true market value” will never be equal; they will be close only in the re-assessment year.

There will be other increases in property values during this four year cycle because people will build new homes, make additions to their homes or commercial building, buy additional land, change the status of a parcel of property, etc. Additionally, the assessor will make adjustments to property values when he/she has determined that an error was made in the initial valuation of a property parcel.

Re-assessing property once every four years saves the property owner money; however, it can and has resulted in substantial increases in the value four years later. The assessor must take into consideration the inflation of property values during that four year period. The actual increase in value depends on many different factors such as the location of property, quality of life issues, demand for residential housing, tax rates, property values in surrounding parishes, etc.

Re-assessment Examples

The following examples will show the effects of re-assessment on a parcel of property. The increase in value from a re-assessment cycle being used in these examples is 20%. (Re-assessment is mandated by state law and must occur at least once every four years.)

Example 1
Residential property subject to homestead exemption:

2011 Value 2012 Value Increase
Total Value $80,000 $96,000 $16,000 = 20%
Homestead $75,000 $75,000
Taxable $5000 $21,000
Assessed Value $500 $2,100
Tax Rate = 100 mills
Taxes $50.00 $210.00 $160.00 = 320%

In this example, the homestead exemption is at the maximum allowed by law. Therefore, the resulting taxes are significantly higher because the overall value increased, but the homestead exemption remained the same.

Example 2
Residential property not subject to homestead exemption:

2011 Value 2012 Value Increase
Total Value $80,000 $96,000 $16,000 = 20%
Homestead 0 0
Taxable $80,000 $96,000
Assessed Value $8,000 $9,000
Tax Rate = 100 mills
Taxes $800.00 $960.00 $160.00 = 20%

In this example, the percentage of increase in taxes is the same as the percentage of increase in total value, 20%. This is because there is no exemption on a portion of the value.