It is time for Louisiana assessors to open their rolls for taxpayer review! Many assessors began the two-week exposure period on August 15th, but the dates vary by parish. As such, if you want to review the fair market value placed on your property by an assessor in a particular parish, you can find the open book dates on the Louisiana Tax Commission’s website.
Below is a brief refresher on the basics of appealing the assessed value of a property:
Visit the assessor’s office during the open book dates and provide any data that supports your opinion of the property’s value, including any evidence of functional or economic obsolescence.
If no resolution with the assessor is possible, file an appeal with the local Board of Review (typically, the Police Jury or Parish Counsel) using the provided form 3101. The form can be found on the Commission’s website.
Attend the Board of Review hearing, again the dates of the hearing in each Parish vary and can be found on the Commission’s website.
Upon receipt of the Board of Review’s decision, if still unsatisfied, file an appeal with the Commission on the provided form 3102. The form can be found on the Commission’s website.
Once docketed at the Commission, a taxpayer can set the matter for hearing, or conduct any necessary pre-hearing discovery that it believes is necessary prior to a hearing.
One very important practice tip relates to La. R.S. 47:1989, the statutory basis for review of appeals by the Commission. The statute has been revised to require taxpayers to provide all “evidence” that the taxpayer intends to present at a “correctness” challenge before the Commission to the assessor prior to the close of the deadline for filing an appeal with the local Board of Review. The Commission can allow additional evidence if the Commission concludes that the additional evidence is material and there was good reason for the taxpayer’s failure to present it to the assessor (i.e., it was not available at the deadline). If a taxpayer decides to hire an appraiser or other expert to provide an appraisal or other report, that work does not have to be completed by the Board of Review deadline. The statute directs that good reason for the failure to timely present the expert’s work product “shall be” presumed, if any report or appraisal is provided to the assessor within thirty (30) days of the taxpayer’s receipt of the expert report, and at least twenty-five (25) days prior to any hearing before the Commission. In addition, the statute lists other types of publicly available evidence that is considered to always be admissible. See La. R.S. 47:1989(c)(2)(a)(xi).
Because an appeal of the assessment must be lodged with the local Board of Review seven (7) days prior to the public hearing, a taxpayer does not have a large window of opportunity to provide evidence to the assessor as required by the above-referenced statutes. If you believe that a correctness challenge is possible for 2022, it is imperative that any evidence that will support your opinion of the fair market value of the property be gathered as soon as possible for submission to the assessor.