Assessment appeal deadline approaching

Assessment appeal deadline approaching

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - If you’re a New Orleans resident and you disagree with a recent hike in your property value, the window to file an appeal is quickly closing.

Property owners have until Monday (Aug. 19) to visit with someone at the assessors office to file an appeal. Those wishing to do so online have until Thursday.

Longtime 9th Ward resident Sal Tramontana is among the many claiming their homes have been assessed improperly and unfairly.

“This property has been owned by my family since 1947,” Tramontana said.

He said many of the Creole cottages surrounding that home are either being rebuilt or refurbished, which is causing his property value to skyrocket.

“This is not a Creole cottage. The other thing, as you’ll know eventually, the lot size is also not a full lot,” he explained.

For those reasons, Tramontana said he filed an appeal to keep his assessment from going up.

“Anybody in the real estate market will tell you, you can’t judge one house value by the rest of the houses in the neighborhood," he said.

The home in question was recently reassessed for $275,000, which Tramontana said represents a more than 100 percent increase in value -- a number he said he could never sell it for.

“If they want to offer us $275,000 for it, we’ll take it,” Tramontana said.

But, he said he does not think that price is fair, or realistic.

After speaking with FOX 8, Tramontana said he was able to successfully get his assessment lowered after filing an appeal.

Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams, said Monday is also the last day homes will be inspected.

“The 19th is the last day for public inspection, period. The 22nd is the last day you can file for an appeal,” Williams said. "Now, if someone brings an appeal from the 19th to the 22nd, we will review the appeal to see whether or not the person is correct. And, if the person is correct, we’ll make these changes based on the evidence they present.

Williams said winning an appeal can happen, because though the assessments follow certain guidelines, only the owners typically know all the ins and outs of their homes.

“If you’ve got damage, if you had a contractor to give an AA figure of what it would cost to repair the damage, we accept that. We look at insurance policies to make sure that their figure is in the ball park of what the insurance policy covers,” he said.

For those who miss the deadline, Williams said there is simply nothing that can be done until next tax year.

“It’s hard, because once you close the roads, you can’t go back in and open it up,” Williams said. "We correct our errors, don’t believe that it’s any different. Mistakes are made, this is not an exact science.

Williams said property owners who are 65 or older by Dec. 31 may qualify for a special assessment level or freeze on their property. But, the deadline to apply for the coming tax year is also this Thursday, August 22.

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