52,000 properties to be assessed

Leslie D. Rose @DvilleNewsie and @Editor_Citizen
Ascension Parish Assessor Mert Smiley

According to Ascension Parish Assessor Mert Smiley, every four years in accordance with Louisiana law, homes and other private properties are reassessed. This March will serve as the month for this quadrennial occurrence.

While Smiley was unable to confirm how many property owners will be affected by this reassessment, he said that each home's value will be looked into and changed only if a recent change had not yet occurred.

"The number of homes that will have to be reassessed is difficult to tell at this point," Smiley said. "We have to see which ones are at the correct value."

Smiley said there are 52,000 parcels of land, meaning the total number of tax bills sent out, the parcels may represent homes or lots.

"We have to break that down and see how many have already been assessed at the correct value and then we may have to change the ones that aren't correct."

Smiley said that the number of reassessments are not likely to be high because most of the subdivisions have already been reassessed.

"We are looking to see what hadn't been done, and it's going to mainly be ones in the rural areas of the entire parish.

When I took office a few years ago, I noticed that a lot of properties hadn't been reassessed since 1973, and the tax commission told us that won't pass, and so we had to go in and make sure they assessed at the current value."

If your property has been properly assessed, reassessment will not affect you, unless major repairs had been done since last assessed. This also pertains to residents age 65 and older, who have or who will sign the Freeze Act.

The Freeze Act is a complex series of statutes, regulations and case law that are designed to prevent a municipality from increasing a property tax assessment after successful appeal of a real property tax assessment. Individuals who sign this will be able to 'freeze' their assessment, meaning the value will not change unless major renovations are completed. Forms are available at the Ascension Parish Assessor's office, located at 828 S. Irma Blvd., Gonzales and 300 Houmas St., Donaldsonville.

Smiley said more solid numbers and possible affects will be available in late February.