Residential property reassessment was a “mixed bag” this year, according to Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor Conrad Comeaux, with the parish seeing a slight decline in both residential and commercial sales. Comparable sales are one method used to determine a building's market value.
Still, with other factors at play, total taxable property value in Lafayette Parish rose to $1.73 billion, up from $1.64 billion last year, Comeaux says.
When reassessment occurs every four years as mandated by state law, the assessor’s office has three methods to choose from when valuing property in Lafayette Parish: the income approach, based on income derived from that property; cost approach, what would it cost to replace the building; and market approach, based upon the sale and lease prices of buildings.
One area of town that saw a significant increase in property values is downtown, where Comeaux says his employees spent more time this year measuring buildings and capturing characteristics that affect valuation.
“Most of the large buildings downtown went up significantly,” he says.
As The Independent noted in its Feb. 22 cover story, “Downtown Development,” several commercial buildings in and around Jefferson Street listed seemingly low values and subsequently received a smaller property tax bill every year.
Among the businesses found downtown, Antler’s, Frankie’s and Agave on Vermilion Street were some of the commercial properties with the lowest values. Agave, the thriving Mexican cantina that’s listed on the assessor’s website as an office building valued at $31,966, had paid $410 a year in property taxes for the past four years.
The official public inspection period for property owners looking to review their reassessments at the assessor’s office is Aug. 31 - Sept. 15, though Comeaux says residents are welcome to review their reassessments at his office any time before Sept. 15.
Comeaux notes that so far, the only two public agencies that have opted to “roll back” their millage rates and remain revenue neutral on their property tax collections are the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and the Teche-Vermilion Freshwater District. All others so far have “rolled forward” their millage rates to collect additional revenues this year.
Check back with IND Monthly soon for more on this year’s property tax reassessment.
MAY 22 This post was written the day after the second line shooting in NOLA, by Brentin Mock. Mock is a friend of Deb "Big Red" Cotton, a blogger who was shot in the back and was seriously injured. It is a raw, emotional piece of writing, something the writer obviously felt he needed to get off his chest. But it raises questions that can't be easily dismissed, and might give some insight into where the source of these events truly is.
MAY 22 In this Baton Rouge Business Report post, Rolfe McCollister considers the privatization of bus service in Baton Rouge. After decades of under-funding, it is a mess, and although a tax (partially) passed last year, improvement hasn't happened yet. McCollister apparently feels it is time to let private business get in on the transit business.
MAY 22 This post on Bayou Buzz by Jeff Crouere urges the defeat of a bill that would grant modest pay increases over the next several years to the state's judges and clerks of court. The state is in no position to fund pay hikes, Crouere argues, with the pay increases costing a total of $9 million over several years. It sends the wrong message to the (proverbial) hard-working people of Louisiana, he says.
MAY 22 The Advocate reports here that State Treasurer John Kennedy is complaining about a meeting of the corporation that oversees the state's tobacco settlement. The Governor wanted it restructured, and he has some support, but not a lot. The corporation agreed with his plan, but Kennedy didn't, and it appears that the meeting was noticed in a manner completely different than that of all previous meetings. Kennedy's given to hyperbole, but in this case the fish don't smell too fresh.
MAY 22 In this Advocate story, Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout says the recent federal indictment of a strip club owner is all wrong. The indictment alleges that drugs and prostitution went on with impunity because club staff made arrangements with "local" police. Stout says it never happened, and while his cops do work security in the parking lot, they're not allowed inside.
MAY 22 This amusing post in DIG Baton Rouge recounts an ad that ran on Craig's List recently; the advertiser was seeking tenants for a Beauregard Town house. He knew his market, and wrote an ad that the most ironical hipster couldn't resist. Apparently, he really did know his market, because the ad worked like a charm.
MAY 22 In this post in The Lens, Mark Moseley comments on the rhetoric Gov. Jindal employed in trying to save his tax "reform" package. One interesting point concerns Jindal's use of his brother, Nikesh, in a little story. Nikesh left Louisiana because of his inability to get a decent job, the story goes, but the story won't hold water: Nikesh lives in DC, which has an income tax level comparable to Louisiana, Moseley says. If income taxes caused the dismal situation, it should exist in DC too. Right?
MAY 22 This post by columnist John Maginnis traces the trajectory of the bill that would fund construction at community and technical colleges -- and bypass the Board of Regents and traditional higher ed funding mechanisms. Sure, it will bust the legislature's self-imposed debt limit, but some leges feel that there's more need (because there is more growth) in the community and technical college area than in the university area, he says.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.