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Assessor Facts

1. What does the Lafayette Parish Assessor's Office do?
2. How is property assessed?
3. Why is property taxed?
4. Can I get a tax exemption?
5. When will I know the amount of my tax bill?
6. What if I think the assessed value of my property is not correct?
7. How can we help you?
8. Important Dates to Remember

1. What does the Lafayette Parish Assessor's Office do?

The Lafayette Parish Assessor is responsible for identifying, locating, and fairly valuing all property, both real and personal, within the parish. The "market" value of real property is based on the current real estate market. Determining a fair and equitable value is the primary role of our office in the taxing process. To arrive at the "market" value of your property, our office staff evaluates various factors about your property and reviews sales of other similar properties in the parish.

The assessor does not create the fair market value. This value is established through the buying and selling of real estate in the market place. The assessor has the legal responsibility to study those transactions and assess your property accordingly.

Information binder
The assessor tracks all pertinent information about property
The assessor also tracks ownership changes; maintains maps of parcel boundaries; keeps descriptions of buildings and property characteristics; accepts and approves applications from individuals and businesses eligible for exemptions and other forms of property tax relief; and, analyzes trends in property sales prices, construction costs, and rents to arrive at the fair market value.

We are currently in the process of implementing a state-of-the-art computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA.) program. This system will provide our office the tools needed to more efficiently and effectively arrive at the fair market value of properties.

Computer screen
GIS mapping will provide detailed information
In addition, we are building a Geographic Information System (GIS) parcel base map to provide detailed and up-to-date property ownership maps. This information will be used for field inspections, to analyze property data and give our staff another tool for comparing similar properties.

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2. How is property assessed?

Assessors are mandated by state law to reassess property at least every four years. However, individual property values may be adjusted yearly in light of sales activity or other factors affecting real estate values. Sales of similar properties provide an indicator of values in the real estate market.

Field inspector
Field inspections supplement transaction records and other information
To determine the value of your property, our staff must first know what properties have sold and at what price. We accomplish this by maintaining a database of real estate information. Transactions are studied to determine if the sale of property was between a willing seller and a willing buyer, without any undue pressure or special incentives (such as family relationships), and that the property was on the market for neither an excessive nor short period of time. We can then arrive at a fair market value of a property by comparing sales of similar properties. This is referred to as the sales comparison approach to valuation.

Two other methods are used to appraise property - the cost approach and the income approach. The cost approach is based on how much it would cost today to build an almost identical structure on the property. If your structure is not new, the assessor must determine how much value the building has lost over time. The assessor must also arrive at a value for the land itself - without buildings or any improvements.

The income approach is the third way to evaluate property - usually commercial property. It requires a study of how much revenue your property would produce if it were rented as an apartment house, a store, an office building and so on. The appraiser must consider operating expenses, taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and the return or profit most people would expect on your kind of property.

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3. Why is property taxed?

Lafayette Parish property taxes provide the funds our local governments need to provide essential services - like educating our children, protecting us from crime and preventing flooding. Without property taxes, many of the services provided by local government would not be available.

The assessor has very little to do with the amount of taxes you pay. The assessor's primary responsibility is to find the fair market value of your property. Then the taxing authorities (city-parish, school board, and others) decide your tax rate, depending on what is needed to provide all the services you enjoy. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by this tax rate applied to your property's assessed value.

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4. Can I get a tax exemption?

Several types of exemptions are available. The type of exemption benefiting the largest number of property-owners is the homestead exemption. If you own property that you reside in, you may apply for homestead exemption. This will reduce the taxable value of your home by $75,000, resulting in substantial savings on your property taxes.

Click here to view "How Taxes Are Calculated"

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5. When will I know the amount of my tax bill?

Prior to Mr. Comeaux taking office, individuals did not know, without calling or coming to the office, how much tax was owed until tax bills were sent out in November. The taxes you owe can now be viewed on this website.
Click here to find your property and see taxes owed.

Millages are usually set by the various Lafayette Parish taxing bodies in September or October of each year. We will be working with these taxing bodies to try to set the millages earlier in the year. This will allow the assessor's office to calculate your taxes earlier and post them to this site before September of each year.

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6. What if I think the assessed value of my property is not correct?

If you think the taxable value on your property is not correct, you are encouraged to contact the Lafayette Parish Assessor's Office to speak with a deputy assessor. The deputy assessor can tell you the information that was used to determine your property's value.

The deputy assessor will ask you to present your evidence in support of your petition. In order to receive a reduction in appraised value, you must prove that the parish's assessment of your property exceeded market value and explain why.

No further action is required on your part if you accept the deputy assessor's decision on your petition. But, if you disagree with that decision and wish to continue to contest the value, you may file an appeal with the Lafayette Consolidated Council during the appeal hearing process in September. The dates of these hearings will be established by the Council in early September. The Council will review the material you present in support of your petition and the information used by the assessor's office. The Council will rule on your appeal at the hearing. If you disagree with the Council's findings, you may file an appeal with the Louisiana Tax Commission. All decisions by the tax commission are final unless appealed to the district court within thirty days.

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7. How can we help you?

Helpful staffOur staff is available from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, except for holidays and public necessity, to answer your questions.

Typical information available at our office includes:

  • Ownership
  • Legal descriptions
  • Assessments
  • Sales information
  • Lot size and square footage
  • Assessment tax roll number
  • CD's with the above information

Please feel free to call or visit our office. One of our deputy assessors will be happy to help you get the information you need.

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8. Important Dates to Remember

August 27, 2016
Assessment Books open for inspection by taxpayers. (August 27- September 12)

September 20, 2016
Appeals must be received in Lafayette Consolidated Council Office by this date.

September 27, 2016
Lafayette Consolidated Appeal Hearing

November 15, 2016
Tax notices are usually mailed in mid-November.

December 31, 2016
Property taxes are due and payable by this date. Taxes will become delinquent thereafter.


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Dear Friend,

The Assessor's Office is here to serve you. I am providing this web site to give you an overview of the functions of the Lafayette Parish Assessor's Office. Through this site, you will gain insight into how our office and the various Lafayette Parish taxing authorities interact with you. Our primary goal is to establish fair and equitable values for all property. This web site is a service offered by the Assessor's office to provide helpful facts on the valuation and tax process as well as to explain the benefits available through various exemptions. We welcome your comments about our site and need your input to improve its contents. Please feel free to visit, e-mail or call our office with your comments or concerns.

Sincerely,
Conrad T. Comeaux
Lafayette Parish Assessor