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Louisiana Property Tax Updates

Updated june 2020

Louisiana's Catastrophe Statutes

Like most states, Louisiana has gone through phases of lockdown and reopening due to COVID-19. Our governor also extended filing deadlines for property tax renditions numerous times, but eventually the question will have to be asked: how has all of this affected property tax values? The general rule in Louisiana is that assessments are based on the condition of property on January 1 each year (August 1 in Orleans Parish). However, La. R.S. 47:1978.1, which was enacted after the late summer/fall devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, provides that:

[i]f lands or property, including buildings, structures, or personal property, are damaged, destroyed, non-operational, or uninhabitable due to an emergency declared by the governor or to a disaster or fire, the assessor or assessors within such parish shall assess such lands or property for the year in which damage has occurred at the percentage of fair market value provided in the Constitution of Louisiana by taking into consideration all the damages to the lands or other property, including obsolescence, and the depreciation of the value of such land or other property caused by the disaster, fire, or emergency.

Thus, when the governor declares a public emergency, any property that is (1) damaged, (2) destroyed, (3) nonoperational, or (4) uninhabitable as a result of the emergency is entitled to reassessment regardless of when the public emergency occurred.

The Louisiana Tax Commission has confirmed that La. R.S. 47:1978.1 applies to property affected by COVID-19. However, it has not specified the type of information that must be provided to assessors to substantiate any COVID-19 reduction in value. Some suggestions: financial statements, profit and loss statements, revenue and expense information, and sales information, preferably presented in year-over-year/month-over-month format for easy (and irrefutable) comparison.

Additionally, taxpayers may request a hardship deferral that allows for a short-term delay in making property tax payments under La. R.S. 47:3702.  


Angela W. Adolph
Kean Miller LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

PILOT Gets A Second Chance

Louisiana has long relied on its Industrial Tax Exemption Program ("ITEP") as an economic development engine for manufacturing.  Several years ago, a coalition of industry associations promoted Payments In Lieu of Taxes ("PILOT") as an alternative to ITEP to create greater flexibility in assessments of manufacturing facilities.   After getting no traction for years, the legislation finally passed this year (Act 370).  Essentially, the legislation creates a new classification of exempt property and allows taxing jurisdictions and taxpayers to negotiate PILOT on that exempt property.  The legislation requires an amendment to the Louisiana Constitution, which proposal will be on the November 3 ballot.  

Angela W. Adolph
Kean Miller LLP
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)

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