The Assessor is required by the Louisiana Constitution to list, value and enumerate all property subject to ad valorem taxation on an Assessment Roll each year. The "ad valorem" basis for taxation means that all property should be taxed "according to value" which is the definition of ad valorem. The Assessed Value is a percentage of "Fair Market Value" or "Use Value" as prescribed by law.
To arrive at "Fair Market Value" for your property, the Assessor must know what "willing sellers" and "willing buyers" are doing in the marketplace. He must also keep current on cost of construction in the area and any changes in zoning, financing, and economic conditions which may affect property values. The Assessor uses the three nationally recognized appraisal approaches to value, those being cost, income, and market. This data is then correlated into a final value estimate by the Appraiser. After your appraisal has been made, the appropriate percentage of value required by law is calculated as your "Assessed Value."
As a property owner, you have a right to appeal your assessment. To appeal your assessment you must contact your Assessor's Office. It would be helpful to provide information such as a recent appraisal, an opinion of value from a Licensed Realtor or any information documenting adverse conditions that may directly affect the value of your property. If, after discussing the matter with the Assessor, a difference of opinion still exists, you may appeal your assessment to the Grant Parish Board of Review. If the Board, after hearing your petition, agrees with the Assessor, you may appeal this decision to the Louisiana State Tax Commission. If the Commission agrees with the Board and the Assessor, you can then plead your case before the courts should you choose to do so.
Fair Market Value is defined by Louisiana Revised Statute 47:2321 as follows: "Fair Market Value is the price for property which would be agreed upon between a willing and informed buyer and a willing and informed seller under usual and ordinary circumstances; it shall be the highest price estimated in terms of money which property will bring if exposed for sale on the open market with reasonable time allowed to find a purchaser who is buying with knowledge of all the uses and purposes to which the property is best adapted and for which it can be legally used." Finding the "Fair Market Value" of your property involves discovering the price most people would pay for it in its present condition. It is not quite that simple, however, because the Assessor has to find what this value would be for every property every year. The Assessor's job doesn't stop there. He must immediately begin gathering sales and other data for future years as the market is constantly changing.