The Louisiana Supreme Court recently denied the writ application of Crosstex LIG, LLC relating to its 2005 ad valorem property tax disputes with Rapides and Ouachita parishes. Crosstex had appealed the values because Ouachita adjusted for obsolescence but did not use the service factor formula set forth in the Louisiana Tax Commission (“LTC”) Rules and Regulations, and Rapides denied obsolescence as a matter of “standard operating procedure.”

In its decision, the LTC held that when using the cost approach to value pipeline properties, the decision to adjust for obsolescence rests with the “sound discretion” of the assessor, but once the assessor makes the decision, he must use the service factor formula to calculate. By denying the writ, the Supreme Court allows the LTC to circumvent the constitutional and statutory requirements of ad valorem property taxation based upon fair market value, statewide uniformity, and the proper application of the cost approach.