Livingston Parish Assessor Announces Open-Book Period for Review of Post-Flood Assessments
Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor sent out the following information this week:
Livingston Parish Assessor Announces Open Book Period for Review of Post-Flood Assessments
Assessor Jeff Taylor Requesting Information on Flood-Damaged Properties
LIVINGSTON, La. – Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor announced today (Nov. 3) that his office will hold an open book period Dec. 5-19 to allow property owners an opportunity to review and possibly change the parish’s updated assessments on their property, particularly those structures that were damaged by the recent flooding.
He said his office is mailing letters this week to property owners whose property was not affected by the floods, according to FEMA, parish and municipal permit records, asking them to contact the Assessor’s Office if that information is incorrect and their property did suffer flood damage.
"Our office has been working with FEMA officials, the parish permit office and municipal permit officials to obtain data on who flooded and who did not, but that information appears to be incomplete when compared to the reported damage throughout our parish. That’s why it’s important that anyone who has a house, businesses or other valued structure that was damaged by the flood to contact our office as soon as possible so we can update our records," Taylor said.
He noted that all reported damage must include documentation from FEMA or parish or municipal permit offices verifying that the structure flooded. No changes will be made without documentation, Taylor said.
Taylor announced last month that he will reduce assessments of those flood-damaged structure by 20 percent, giving property owners a significant reduction in their 2016 property taxes. He noted that the 20 percent decrease in assessments will only be applied to structures and not to land.
He said homes and businesses that have been determined to be substantially damaged, resulting in the property owner having to demolish the structure, will have greater assessment reductions, but those property owners must provide documentation and assessments will be made on a case-by-case basis.
"We are asking all property owners to please work with our office to verify flood damage throughout the parish. We are working with numerous officials, and we are cross-referencing our data to try to get the most accurate report, but that may not be enough," Taylor said.
"Our office is sending out letters this week. If a person receives a letter, then that means he or she has a property – according to FEMA, parish and municipal records – that was not affected by the flood. If that’s incorrect, then let us know as soon as possible," he said.
Taylor said his office will hold an "open book" period from Dec. 5-19, where property owners can come to his office at 29940 S. Magnolia Ave., in the Town of Livingston, to view their assessments and projected 2016 property taxes, ask questions or request changes. No changes to the assessments or projected property taxes will be made after the books "close" on Dec. 19, Taylor said.
He noted that property owners can visit his office website at www.livingstonassessor.com at any time to review their assessments and those of their neighbors. He also suggested that property owners contact their local permit office or FEMA to verify record of their flood status.
"We want to ensure that our property owners receive a fair assessment and that the information is as accurate as possible, so our many taxing districts can set their budgets for the coming year," Taylor said. "We are trying to walk a tight rope between our residents and our districts to make sure that our districts have enough money to run their offices and provide important public services, while our residents receive a fair reduction on their assessments if they flooded."