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Bill would cap New Orleans home property assessments

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 9:18 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The stay-at home orders of the pandemic maybe solidified the importance of a home, but one thing’s for certain: homes in New Orleans are in high demand.

“We’re seeing basically a double in business from last year, and we’re seeing multiple offers on properties which further drives up the price even from asking,” said Andrew Evans.

Latter and Blum relator Andrew Evans says the home-buying trend is happening all across the city, including homes he says have sat on the market for years.

“It’s great to have your house be this much but guess what you’re going to be paying more and property taxes, so raising that assessment is obviously a big boon for people,” said Evans.

In 2019, New Orleanians saw their property assessments increase in some areas two- and three-fold.

Representative Matthew Willard says he ran on this platform to try and protect New Orleans neighborhoods.

“People couldn’t pay these bills and some of them were losing their homes because they couldn’t keep up with the tax… I’m just trying to give homeowners a way to actually budget, be prepared and afford those up assessment increases,” said Willard.

His house bill 143 would allow for a 10 percent cap in property assessment in any given year for New Orleans homeowners with a homestead exemption.

An example is if a $100,000 home increased in value to $150,000, the tax would increase up to 10 percent the first year and up to 10 percent the next tax year.

“The value in New Orleans is going through the roof on the residential,” said Erroll Williams.

He’s tried since 2006 to get a cap passed, and Orleans Parish assessor Erroll Williams expects New Orleans home values to only increase.

“It gives people the ability to plan around these increases with the people losing their jobs and still trying to hold onto their homes,” said Williams.

Williams says as he’s beholden to the market. He hopes legislators and voters can step in to save New Orleans neighborhoods.

“We have to have some protection otherwise we’re pushing people out of the neighborhoods and where they going to go because the values are too high in New Orleans,” said Williams.

If house bill 143 passes, it would go to a vote. The people in the state of Louisiana would all vote on an Orleans Parish cap on property assessments.

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