Calcasieu Parish Assessor

What The Assessor Does.

The assessor is required by the Louisiana Constitution to discover, list and value all property subject to ad valorem taxation on an assessment roll each year. The "ad valorem" basis for taxation means that all property should be taxed "according to value" which is the definition of ad valorem. The assessed value is a percentage of the "fair market value" or "use value" as prescribed by law. Property is assessed as follows:

Land: 
 10% FMV
Residential Improvements: 
 10% FMV
Commercial (includes personal): 
 15% FMV
Commercial land: 
 10% FMV

What Is Fair Market Value?

Fair market value is defined by Louisiana Revised Statute 47:2321 as follows: "Fair Market Value is the price for property which would be agreed upon between a willing and informed buyer and a willing and informed seller under the usual and ordinary circumstances; it shall be the highest price estimated in terms of money which property will bring if exposed for sale on the open market with reasonable time allowed to find a purchaser who is buying with knowledge of all the uses and purposes to which the property is best adapted and for which it can be legally used."
Finding the "fair market value" of your property involves discovering the price most people would pay for it in its present condition in the current open market. It is not quite that simple, however, because the market and the condition of the home are constantly changing.

What If I Disagree With The Assessor's Value Of My Property?

As a taxpayer, you have a certain legal responsibility to furnish accurate information on your property. Our office welcomes all information provided by the property owner. If you have complied with these legal requirements, you are entitled to question the value placed on your property. If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the assessor's, you may come to our office to discuss the matter in person. Be prepared to show evidence that the assessor's valuation of the property is incorrect. Our staff will be glad to answer your questions about the assessor's appraisal. If, after discussing the matter with the assessor, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the Calcasieu Parish Board of Review (Police Jury) according to procedures. After reviewing your appeal, if the Board agrees with the assessor and a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal the Board's decision to the Louisiana State Tax Commission. If the Commission agrees with the Board and the assessor, you can plead your case before the courts should you choose to do so.

What The Assessor Does Not Do.

The assessor does not raise or lower taxes. The assessor does not make the laws which affect property owners. The Constitution of the State of Louisiana, as adopted by the voters, provides the basic framework for taxation, and tax laws are made by the Louisiana Legislature. The rules and regulations for assessment are set by the Louisiana Tax Commission. The tax dollars are levied by the taxing bodies, such as the police jury, school board, etc., and are collected by the Sheriff's Office as Ex-Officio Tax Collector. The assessor's primary responsibility is to determine the "fair market value" of your property so that you pay only your fair share of the taxes. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by the "millage rate", which is applied to your property's assessed value. The millage rate, as voted by the public, is levied by all the taxing agencies within the district, city, parish or state. This includes school districts, police juries, law enforcement districts, etc. The millage rate is the basis for the budget needed or demanded by the voters to provide for services such as schools, roads, law enforcement, etc. Millage rates are simply those rates which will provide funds to pay for those services.

What is meant by millage rates or mills?

A mill is a tax rate passed by a vote of the people. It is defined as 1/10 of one cent and is multiplied by the assessed value after any exemptions have been subtracted to calculate the taxes. For example, if the tax rate is 120 mills and total assessed value is 10,000 with no exemptions, the taxes would be calculated as $10,000 x .120 = $1200.00. If for the same house you had a homestead exemption the taxes would be (10,000 - 7,500) 2500 x .120 = $300.00 in taxes. This demonstrates the importance of signing up for homestead if applicable.

How are taxes calculated?

Assessed Value (minus exemptions) X Millage Rate=Tax Dollars. Tax rates are based on millages, bond issues, and fees that have been voted by registered voters in the various districts which have been established by the Legislature or Constitution. The tax monies collected for the districts go to pay for schools, roads, law enforcement, fire protection, and other services that the taxpayers demand and desire from local government. To calculate the taxes on your property, you must take the assessed value, which is a percentage of "fair market value", and multiply it by the appropriate tax or millage rate to arrive at the amount due. If, as an example, you have $1000 of taxable assessed value and the appropriate tax rate is 70 mills, you would pay $1000 x .070 = $70 in taxes. If your home is valued at $100,000 and assessed at 10 percent, or $10,000, and you are eligible and have signed for homestead exemption, you would calculate your taxes as follows:

   Parish
 City
Assessed Value 
$
10,000
   $
10,000
Homestead Exemption   
- $
7,500
- $
0
Taxable Assessed Value  
$
2,500
   $
10,000
Assumed Tax Rate 
x   
    .070
   x  
.020
Totals
$
175
$
200

How Do My Taxes Increase?

When additional taxes are voted by the people, an individual's property tax bill will increase. Also, when market value increases, naturally, so does the assessed value. If you were to make improvements to your existing property, for instance, add a garage, an additional room, or a swimming pool, the "fair market value" increases, and therefore, the assessed value would also increase. The assessor has not created the value. Buyers and sellers set value by their transactions in the marketplace. The assessor simply has the legal and moral responsibility to study those transactions and appraise your property accordingly.

What If I Don't Receive My Tax Notice?

Even if you do not receive a tax notice, it is your responsibility to be sure that the property taxes have been paid. You may contact the tax collector (Sheriff’s Office) to determine the amount of property taxes owed and whether or not the taxes have been paid.