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The question as to whether people would continue to move to Livingston Parish post-flood was answered with a resounding ‘yes’ as the parish alone approved 781 new home permits in 2018.

78% of those permits (611) were issued in zip codes 70726, 70706, and 70785 representing the Denham Springs, Watson, and Walker areas, respectively.

Residential permits do not include mutil-family developments and mobile home parks, which are listed under ‘commercial.’

320 permits were drawn for the 70726 zip code, with most home locations coming from three particular hotspots - Cella Gardens, off Juban Road; Arbor Walk, a DSLD development south of Walker, nestled between Highway 447 and Joe May Road; and, finally, the DSLD development of Nickens Lake off of 4-H Club Road, south of Denham Springs.

Cella Gardens, combined with sister neighborhood Sanctuary at Juban Crossing on Highway 190, boasted 65 new homesites in 2018, a project which is being manned by the third largest builder in the parish, currently - Alvarez Construction.

Arbor Walk posted approximately 30 permits for new homes, while the Nickens Lake subdivision acquired nearly the same amount.

The Nickens Lake subdivision surrounds roughly 60 acres purchased by the Livingston Parish School Board on 4-H Club Road that will be, according to school board officials, the eventual site of a new high school for the Denham Springs area.

The school board also owns 100 acres of adjacent property.

Surprisingly, according to DSLD and school board officials, Nickens Lake did not flood in 2016. A map view of the Amite River actually shows the water moving back north and flowing around a high spot in the area.

Heading just above the Denham Springs city limits is a new D.R. Horton development with the name ‘Fairlane Farms.’ The area was an extension through the back of an old neighborhood, headed by Fairlane Drive.

53 permits are currently registered for the development, with more homesites slated for the future according to their website.

Horton pulled the most residential permits, parish wide, in 2018 with 194. DSLD was second with 115, while Alvarez took third with 65.

Moving farther north, but still in 70726, Magnolia Farms in south Watson is realizing growth as the developer has opened up the property to any builder who cares to buy.

In 70706, D.R. Horton expanded their Audubon Lakes subdivision with a new filing that includes 26 homesites.

Horton continues to control the 70706 zip code with 30 homesites on Fowler Drive, near the corner of Highway 1019 and Highway 447.

Horton expanded their Bend Road area offering with nearly 20 new homesites on several side streets. The large-scale builder is also focused on a new, high-scale subdivision off of Highway 16 north of Live Oak High School.

The 70785 zip code posted 52 new home site permits, but that number is slightly low for the Walker area due to the expanse of 70726 zip code which includes Arbor Walk on south Highway 447.

2019 has already seen 50 new homesite permits issued.

Several smaller builders have subdivisions going up north of Denham Springs and east of Watson.

The only notable, condensed development is 11 new homesites were permitted in Carter Plantation, outside of Springfield.

Livingston Parish currently ranks 9th in Louisiana with regard to property taxes, at a rough total of .53%. Louisiana as a state has the lowest property tax rates among states that charge. There are 40 property tax entities in the parish, some of them parish wide and others localized - including Denham, Walker, Live Oak, and Maurepas school district which have localized property taxes for school business.

The cities of Denham Springs and Walker, as well as the towns of Albany, Killiana, and Livingston have their own property tax millages - as well.

Listed below are the millage entities and their respective rates, shown as they appear on a property tax bill:

  1. 2.41 mills - Amite River Diversion (Comite)
  2. 6.52 mills - Assessor
  3. 2 mills - Assessor Funding
  4. 3.478 mills - City of Denham Springs
  5. 2 mills - Council on Aging
  6. 10 mills - Fire 1
  7. 10.64 mills - Fire 2
  8. 10 mills - Fire 4
  9. 10.14 mills - Fire 5
  10. 10 mills - Fire 7
  11. 16.63 mills - Fire 8
  12. 10.38 mills - Fire 9
  13. 10.94 mills - Fire 10
  14. 10 mills - Fire 11
  15. 7.18 mills - General Fund (Additional Maint. Fund) -P/W School
  16. 3.29 mills - General Fund (Constitutional) - P/W School
  17. 4.43 mills - Gravity Drainage (Dist 1)
  18. 2.5 mills - Health Unit
  19. 2.75 mills - Juvenile Det Center
  20. 11.11 mills - Law Enf Regular
  21. 10.55 mills - Law Enf Special
  22. 10 mills - Library
  23. 1.5 mills - Library Bond
  24. 2.32 mills - Parish
  25. 1.16 mills - Parish City/Local
  26. 15 mills - Rec 2
  27. 15 mills - Rec 3
  28. 0.1 mills - Rec 3 Bond
  29. 0 mills - Rec 5 - (Failed)
  30. 5 mills - Road Equipment & Maintenance
  31. 11.64 mills - School Dist 1 - DS
  32. 8.19 mills - School Dist 4 - Walker
  33. 12.25 mills - School Dist 4-1 - Walker
  34. 5 mills - School Dist 5 - Const - P/W
  35. 15.17 mills - School Dist 22- Live Oak
  36. 12.07 mills - School Dist 33 - Maurepas
  37. 7 mills - Special Maint. 7 - P/W School Special Maint.
  38. 7.04 mills - Town Albany
  39. 7.48 mills - Town Killian
  40. 4.77 mills - Town Livingston
  41. 2.2 mills - Town Walker

Millage rates are the multiplier on the amount, per thousand dollar value of your home, used to determine your property tax owed. Its important to note that Louisiana still recognizes homestead exemption, which removes $75,000 worth of value from a primary residence.

For example, one would save $375 on their Road Equipment & Maintenace portion of their bill by utilized homestead exemption.

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McHugh David is publisher and editor of the News. He is also a real estate agent. He can be reached at mchugh@lpn1898.com, or you can follow him on Twitter @mchughdavid41.

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