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Voices of St. Charles Parish

Letters to the Editor -   Jan 18, 2007

Can you afford to pay four times more than you are now paying for your property taxes?

Carolyn Schexnaydre is a concerned citizen living in Destrehan. Got something to say on any topic of local interest? We'll give you the space in Voices of St. Charles Parish. Write: editor@heraldguide.com

Well, if you can, read no further. But if you are struggling now, you need to read the rest of this story.

The year 2008 is a reassessment year and your taxes are going up 400 percent.

This is no joke. I attended the tax-commissioner meeting with the River Parish assessors and listened while they told of the panic buying of homes in these parishes because of Hurricane Katrina.

They explained how this panic-buying inflated real estate values, and how these new values will hurt life-long residents, their children and grandchildren.

How does it hurt them? By dramatically increasing the value of their homes and also their property taxes when the property comes up for reassessment.

There needs to be a cap on re-assessments, otherwise, property taxes will go up so high that some people will have to sell their homes because they can't afford to pay taxes and insurance on them.

Years ago the system as it is today worked.

But the system is now broken, in part because of the hurricane, and also because of exemptions big business is getting - exemptions that reduce or eliminate their taxes.

That leaves homeowners and small businesses to pay the difference.

Did you know big companies can get exemptions on offices that aren't even on their property ... exercise equipment ... ice machines ... lawn maintenance and other non-essential things?

All the while they are using our local resources. Sometimes they come and go without ever having hired local people and without producing any products at all.

Now is the time to yell, scream, write letters and e-mail and let the the tax commissioner and our repesentatives and senators know we are tired of this unfairness.

St. Charles Parish's assessor needs your help - because without your voice to stop this madness, you, the homeowners, and also small businesses that don't qualify for these lavish exemptions will be hurt.

Our assessor will meet with the St. Charles Parish Council on Feb. 5, 2007 to ask for help from our elected offficals on this matter.

If you choose not to attend and fight for your home, don't squawk after your bill comes in.

Because then it will be too late. 

Carolyn Schexnaydre is a concerned citizen living in Destrehan. Got something to say on any topic of local interest? We'll give you the space in Voices of St. Charles Parish. Write: editor@heraldguide.com

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