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Administrator: Police Jury won't benefit from tax reassessments

Last Modified: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 1:32 AM

By John Guidroz/ American Press

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury has “no legal authority to assess property values,” and reassessments by the parish Tax Assessor’s Office “did not generate any additional revenue for the Police Jury,” Parish Administrator Bryan Beam told the American Press on Tuesday.

“There seems to be a perception, to some degree, that the Police Jury is somehow receiving a windfall of revenue from these property assessments that are higher,” he said. “This is false.”

Property owners recently received notices informing them of their reassessed property values, a process that occurs every four years. Some residents and business owners are upset that their property taxes increased, in some cases, by more than 50 percent. Beam and Tax Assessor Wendy Aguillard will discuss the issue at the Police Jury’s 5:30 p.m. meeting Thursday.

While the assessment values increased, Beam said the Police Jury rolled back all of its parishwide property taxes. The roll-back maintains the amount the Police Jury collected from the tax the year before.

For example, the parishwide mosquito control maintenance tax went from 2.28 mills in 2011 to 2.20 mills this year because the taxable valuation increased from $1.5 billion in 2011 to $1.56 billion this year. The roll-back of the tax maintains the $3.4 million collected annually by the Police Jury.

Beam said the Police Jury levies taxes each year for the services it provides, but does not establish property tax assessments. This also applies to other taxing entities like the School Board and Sheriff’s Office.

Beam said the Police Jury was “surprised at how many of these assessments were significantly higher from what we heard from the public.”

“We did not realize the magnitude of how many of these increases were going to be that high,” he said.

Aguillard told the American Press last month that this year was “a difficult reassessment.” She said residents and business owners can contact her office if they believe their property was reassessed in error.

Taxes are due Dec. 31, but properties with corrections will get an amended tax notice with a new due date. Those who fail to pay taxes by Dec. 31 will have to pay 1 percent interest per month and could face additional costs.

Online: www.cppj.net; www.calcasieuassessor.org.

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