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 $1,000 of taxable Assessed Value and the appropriate Tax Rate is 170 mills, you would pay $1000 X .170 = $170 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:
$100,000 (Fair Market Value Land and Improvements)
x 10% (Assessment Level for Residential Property)
$10,000 (Assessed Value)
-7,500 (Maximum Homestead Exemption)
2,500 (Taxable Value)
x .170 (Parish Tax Rate 170 mills)
$425 (Total Parish Taxes Due)
NOTE: The example is for Parish Taxes only as Homestead Exemption does not apply to City Taxes or extra "fees".
How can 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" and, therefore, the Assessed Value would also increase. The Assessor has not created the value. Value is created by transactions in the marketplace. The Assessor simply has the legal and moral responsibility to study those transactions and appraise your property accordingly.