If you’re thinking of buying real estate in New Orleans, you probably have some questions about property taxes. I’ve dug into the arcana of New Orleans property taxes, and I attempt to provide an overview and answer basic questions below. I hope you find the information helpful. Please contact me at 504-407-9012 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
How the Property Tax Rate in New Orleans is Determined
Property taxes in New Orleans are set using millage rates. One mill is one tenth of a percent. The millage rate represents the numbers of dollars that are taxed for every $1,000 in property value.
The total millage rate for New Orleans represents the sum of tax monies which are apportioned between different public entities such as fire, police, levees, schools, parks, etc. Millage rates in New Orleans vary between the East Bank and the West Bank. The total millage rate for the East Bank is 143.95 and for the West Bank the rate is 145.03.
The increased millage rate on the West Bank reflects the fact that residents there pay a higher millage rate to the Algiers Levee District than East Bank residents pay to the Orleans Levee District (12.26 mills on the West Bank versus 11.18 mills on the East Bank). Some neighborhoods, such as the Garden District and the Downtown Development District, choose to add millages to the City’s base millage rates to provide special services.
Here is a breakdown of the current number of mills each entity within the City government gets from property tax revenues:
City of New Orleans Millages
General Alimony – 15.10
Fire & Police – 6.40
Public Library – 4.91
Board of Liquidation – 19.50
Sewerage & Water Board – 16.23
Audubon Commission – 1.95
School Board – 45.31
1. Orleans Levee District (East Bank) – 11.18
2. Algiers Levee District (West Bank) – 12.26
Law Enforcement District – 2.80
Economic Development and Housing Fund – 0.91
Parkway & Parks – 1.80
Recreation Dept – 1.95
City Park Improvement Association – 0.61
Capital Improvements & Infrastructure Trust Fund – 0.56
Street & Traffic Control Device Maintenance – 1.77
Police & Fire (Not Covered by Homestead Exemption) – 10.47
Fire Protection (Not Covered by Homestead Exemption) – 2.50
Total East Bank – 143.95
Total West Bank – 145.03
How to calculate your property taxes in New Orleans
To calculate your property taxes in New Orleans, you need to first know what value the Tax Assessor has placed on your property. In Louisiana, assessors are required to value properties in each parish at least once every four years. In Orleans Parish, the Assessor uses Computerized Assisted Mass Appraisal to value properties.
To determine your property’s assessed value, you can visit the Tax Assessor’s website and search for your property by address or owner name.
Residential properties and vacant land in New Orleans are assessed for tax purposes at ten percent of their fair market value, while commercial and industrial properties are assessed at fifteen percent of their fair market value.
Once you know your property’s assessed value, you have two options, you can do the math yourself, or you can use the Tax Estimator on the Assessor’s website to calculate your property tax. If you prefer to do the calculation yourself, here’s how:
Let’s assume the Assessor has determined the property’s fair market value is $300,000 and since it’s a residential property the Assessor has determined its assessed value to be ten percent of the fair market value or $30,000. Once you have this assessed value, you multiply the millage rate .14395 by the assessed value, which gives you a tax amount of $4,318.50 for the year.
It’s important to note that this calculated property tax value does not factor in a homestead exemption, which is discussed below.
Reducing Your New Orleans Tax Bill with the Homestead Exemption
If you own residential property in New Orleans and it is your domicile – i.e., the home you occupy as your primary residence – then you are eligible for the homestead exemption, through which you are exempt from taxation on the first $75,000 of the home’s fair market value, or $7500 of the home’s assessed value. To claim the homestead exemption, you must go to the Assessor’s office and present proof of ownership in the form of an act of sale or warranty deed; a valid drivers license or state id with an address that corresponds to the property address; and either an unpaid Entergy bill with the property address or a landline telephone bill or cable bill with the property address.
In addition to the Homestead Exemption, there are property tax reduction programs in New Orleans available to those who are disabled or who are over sixty-five years old and meet certain income restrictions. You can find more information about these programs in the frequently asked questions section of the New Orleans Property Tax Assessor’s website.
When Property Taxes are Due in New Orleans
In 2022, New Orleans residents can view their tax bills online and make payments starting on February 8th. Those who prefer to receive their tax bill by mail can expect the bill to arrive after February 8th. The City requires payment of tax bills by March 15, after which interest accrues at one percent per month.
How to Pay Property Taxes in New Orleans
New Orleans residents can pay their property tax bills online via the City’s website, mail payment or drop off payment at public libraries on select dates.
How to Dispute Your Property’s Value with the Assessor
If your property’s value has changed since the last assessment, the Assessor’s office will mail you notification. If you disagree with the Assessor’s valuation of your property, then you may dispute the valuation during what’s known as the open rolls period, which runs from July 15 to August 15 (there is also a grace period allowing for submission of a dispute within three business days of the closing of the rolls).
To dispute the assessment, you’ll need to make an appointment to meet with a representative from the Assessor’s office virtually or by phone (this is their preference since the onset of the pandemic), which you can do here or by calling 504-754-8811, or you can file an appeal online. In support of your valuation dispute, you’ll need to submit documentation such as pictures, measurements, a recent appraisal, a builder’s contract, and/or comparable sold properties in your neighborhood.