Homeowners faced with long lines on final day for in-person assessment appeal

Assessor's office sees long lines on the deadline to file an in-person appeal

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Dozens of residents waited in long lines to speak with assessors about their property value Monday (Aug. 19) -- the final day for homeowners to file an in-person appeal.

"I'm here to dispute my property tax assessment on a rental property that I own. There are some gross indecencies in the property tax system in New Orleans," Jane Howard said.

“I’m here to find out why the city is trying to tax us more on the same property I’ve been having since ’03,” Vanissia Prout said.

So many people showed up at the Lakeview office Monday, at some points reaching capacity. Orleans Parish Tax Assessor Erroll Williams said that is not uncommon during a deadline like this.

“It’s busy at the end. People wait until the last minute to do this process and that’s just human nature,” Williams said.

Williams said in an average year, 7,500 people stop by the assessor's office.

"I've seen larger crowds. This time, we don't see as many, but still, 6,200 people is a lot of people top come through here," Williams said.

Williams said they have around 2,500 appeals to review so far.

“The City Council has the whole hearing. The City Council is the Board of Review for a couple of weeks out of the year, and then they recommend what the values are. Whether they agree with me or they agree with the property owner,” Williams said.

He said they’re seeing residents mostly from Treme, Lafitte Greenway, Mid-City, Gentilly and Lakeview --neighborhoods where property values increased.

Residents can dispute their assessment by bringing in evidence.

"Photographs showing the inside, and when you look at some of the insides of the homes, you realize that the value you were assigned based upon that average for that neighborhood is out of line," Williams said.

As a landlord, Howard said she is worried what the hike in her property will mean for her tenants.

“It’s impossible to charge the same rent when expenses are going up year after year. So, by raising property taxes on rental property, people are not able to keep their rents low, even if they want to,” Howard said.

Those who weren’t able to make it in person Monday have until Thursday to file online, or turn in their forms.

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