55% of residential property owners will see an increase on tax bill

Average hike estimated at $181, some up to $600

Slightly more than half of St. Charles Parish residents are expected to see an increase in their projected property tax bill this year.

Parish Tax Assessor Tab Troxler said 10,503 letters are being mailed in coming weeks outlining each property owner’s estimated tax bill, which is intended as a notice until the parish’s millages are finalized.

“Some people will see a higher tax bill than others depending on where they live and on property assessed,” Troxler said. “As an assessor, I’m being mindful of these increases.”

Assessments are also available online, which he said is aimed at promoting transparency.

Some 3,019 properties will see an increase on average of around $238 or more based on the higher assessment. Another 978 properties will see a level or lower tax bill of 5 percent or more, Troxler said.

The parish has about 17,000 residential properties, which Troxler said have been steadily increasing in value and contributing to higher taxes.

“We have seen values increase in the parish,” he said, a trend he has observed since Hurricane Katrina’s devastation left the entire state in recovery.

Residential property tax is reassessed every four years in Louisiana as opposed to commercial property, which is done every year.

When residents receive these notices, they will see a bill based on 2015 tax rates because the parish millage rates, such as those collected for public safety, are still being determined.

The Parish Council’s millage meeting is 6 p.m. Aug. 6 in the St. Charles Parish Council Chambers.

Troxler said each notice will include a cover sheet with the estimated yearly tax amount and a second sheet itemizing the property owner’s land, building, homestead exemption, personal property and fair market value.

Overall, the tax assessor emphasized for the first time for the parish that higher taxes do not mean more revenue because of other declining revenue sources, including the inventory tax.

While companies are storing more oil, Troxler said it’s worth less because of lower oil prices and is generating less tax revenue.

Troxler attributed some of the changes to modernization of the office’s assessment method called “computer aided mass appraisal,” which is new software aimed at making assessments more accurate, fair and uniform by area. The software, which gathers sales prices, price comparatives and other market indicators, assesses the figures and offers recommendations on an assessment.


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