Parish and city property tax statements for 2022 were recently sent out. A nice little present for homeowners as we enter this holiday season! Ba-humbug! 😂
Property taxes are calculated by the local assessor’s office. There are several factors that go into the calculation. Check out https://lafayetteassessor.com/Home/Topics to get more details on the actual calculations. One of the primary drivers, though, is the property’s assessed value. This value is determined by a process called an assessment.
An assessment and an appraisal may be easily confused. Both are used to measure a property’s value. Each has a different intended use (or, purpose). Assessments are primarily for tax purposes. Real estate appraisals are used to determine the property’s appraised value. The appraised value is typically reflects the fair market value, or the amount a reasonable buyer might expect to pay for the property, at a specific point in time.
Typically, the appraisal process is more detailed and in-depth than an assessment. An appraiser closely evaluates the subject property’s unique condition, amenities, market, and location. When possible, the appraiser visits the house or property in person to get a thorough view of the specific property. The in-depth analysis and understanding of the unique property allow the appraiser to closely compare, or contrast, the property to others nearby.
Assessments estimate the property’s value. According to the Lafayette Parish Assessor’s website, real estate data and computer assisted mass appraisal programs are utilized to value properties. These type of computer generated valuation tools can be useful when ballpark estimates are need for thousands of properties. The models can have their downfalls (ask Zillow https://www.wsj.com/articles/zillow-offers-real-estate-algorithm-homes-ibuyer-11637159261), but we’ll leave that topic for another post.
The timing of assessments are also an important consideration. The real estate market and property values are constantly changing. The fair market value of a property today will most likely be different a few months from now. The Lafayette Parish Assessor’s website states assessed values must be updated at least every four years but may be updated yearly. It’s important to keep in mind the assessed values have the potential to be dated by several months or even years.
The local tax assessor websites have easy to use search tools. The links to local websites are provided below. Homeowners can see the assessed market value assigned to their property. It is important to keep in mind the value is just an estimate for tax purposes. Important real estate or financial decisions should not be based solely on the assessed market value assigned. There is only a need to act if you have reason to believe the “assessed market value” is HIGHER than the fair market value of the property. A higher value could mean you are paying too much in property taxes. If you do suspect your property’s assessed value is too high, the assessor’s office can provide steps to request a re-evaluation. Documentation such as an appraisal from a certified appraiser may be required as evidence. Our office can assist with this request.
Lafayette Parish: https://lafayetteassessor.com/
Vermilion Parish: http://vermilionassessor.org/
St. Landry Parish: https://www.stlandryassessor.org/Search
Iberia Parish: https://www.iberiaassessor.org/
St. Martin Parish: https://www.stmartinassessor.org/
Acadia Parish: https://www.acadiaassessor.org/