Owners of exempt property may be hurt by a recent Louisiana law change. Historically, the owners of tax exempt property did not have to confirm that the exemption was being respected by the Assessor by checking the tax rolls during the public inspection period. The owner of exempt property could challenge a tax bill by waiting to receive his tax bill, paying the bill under protest, and then filing a lawsuit in district court. This procedure used to be in La. R.S. 47:2110. As the result of a major rewrite of the Louisiana law on tax sales, La. R.S. 47:2110 was renumbered La. R.S. 47:2134.
In addition to renumbering the provision, the Legislature added a change that says exemption challenges must be handled like valuation challenges. The change was effective January 1, 2009. Thus, for 2009 and later years, an owner of exempt property must check the tax rolls during August and September of each year to confirm that exempt property has not been put on the taxable property tax rolls. If the Assessor decides to challenge the exemption and puts the property on the tax rolls, the property owner must file a protest with the local Board of Review and can appeal to the Louisiana Tax Commission. If the property owner waits to get a tax bill, it will likely have lost substantial rights and may be unable to challenge the assessment.