Assessor: St. Mary property owners file no complaints

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Assessor Jarrod Longman is expected to have a short presentation on tonight’s St. Mary Parish council agenda. During a segment first billed as an opportunity for the public to voice complaints regarding values on property assessments, Longman will be able to report there were no appeals filed during an established period for such activity between Aug. 15 and 31.

A public notice issued last week stated the public could present complaints regarding tax levels during tonight’s meeting, but those objections had to first be submitted in writing to the council clerk seven days prior to the meeting.

According to Parish Council Clerk Lisa Morgan, as of Monday morning no objections to property tax assessments had been submitted. “I don’t know about last year, because this is my first year [on the job], but so far there are no complaints,” she said.

“We do assessments throughout the year and there is an open book period for two weeks,” Chief Deputy Assessor Donald Stephens said. “That is a time people can review their assessments. If the assessor and that person can’t come to an agreement [the taxpayer] can appeal to the tax commission. We actually extend that period so people can contact us throughout the year if they have a question.”

Stephens said all the statutory requirements have passed and they have received no appeals for the 2012 tax year. “Basically, the assessor is going to go in and tell [the parish council] there were no appeals,” he said. “In essence this meeting is not a hearing for people to discuss assessments, because that period has passed.”

By procedure the parish council serves as a board of review. If any unsettled appeals had been filed, those cases would be forwarded to the state tax commission.

The average property tax level in St. Mary Parish is 100 mills. The assessor’s office is presently working on reassessments that will appear on tax rolls for 2013. The same procedures for public review and appeal will apply to and revised calculations.

Jarrod Longman