LIVINGSTON -- The "Board of Review" is an annual experience for the parish council.
The Livingston Parish Assessor, in this case Jeff Taylor, visits the council to inform them of three things that happen during the "open book period" at his office, wherein local citizens are allowed to appeal their property tax rate:
- If anyone had actually appealed their property tax rate and,
- Announce what the taxable value of property in Livingston Parish and,
- Ask for an ordinance to accept the rolls to send to the state tax commissioner's office
According to Taylor, no one this year had approached his office to appeal the taxable value of their property.
Taylor went on to say that the assessed value of property in Livingston Parish had risen $30,067,100 from 2018 to 2019, or $814,702,862 in total property value.
Homestead exemption dropped $1,280,310 from 2018 to 2019, and Taylor said that was due to the contract he engaged in with Assessure. The company investigated homestead exemptions in Livingston Parish and reported ignorant, fraudulent, or criminal behavior for all homestead exemptions in the parish.
The several hundred instances that were discovered were reported and many were fixed, Taylor said, but they're still working on it.
Homestead exemption removes $75,000 of taxable value from property that is proven to be a personal, permanent residence.
"This is probably the only year you'll ever see homestead exemption drop," Taylor said. "That was due to Assessure, so don't look for it again."
That left the total taxable value of property in Livingston Parish at $571,266,515.00, an increase of $31,247,410.
"When I took office, there were problems," Taylor said. "We had a taxable value of $101 million, which actually dropped to $94 million before we started being able to fix it."
According to Taylor, the initial drop was due to discrepancies in filing. Taylor went on to say that 30 percent of the parish wasn't even on the tax rolls.
"Now, we have a roughly 97-98 percent collection rate, on a population growth of roughly 50 percent (since 2009) to go with a 471 percent in taxable value," he added.
The breakdown in increase was:
- $25,444,370.00 increase in taxable value of real property, ending at $438,567,415
- $4,010,250.00 increase in taxable value of personal property, ending at $89,328,010
- $1,892,790.00 increase in taxable value of public service, ending at $43,371,090
Taylor said that his office still has issues and mistakes, and they're working to fix it. If you have a problem with your tax, he asks that citizens come to his office to discuss it.
The assessor also invited the public to a dedication of the Assessor's Office's new building, named after his father Delmas, on Friday, Sept. 27, at 10 a.m. in Livingston.
The assessor does not set millage rates, and he does not collect taxes. He is required to re-assess property every four years.