The Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee has reported to the full Senate HB 148 (Rep. Arnold), which appears to be a compromise between the assessors and local government on the revaluation of property due to damage or destruction because of the hurricanes.
HB 148 (Rep. Arnold) must now be voted on by the full Senate and the House must vote to accept the Senate amendments or to send the bill to a conference committee.
HB 148 as amended would preserve the revaluation provisions dealing with flooded property (immovable and corporeal movable (i.e. real estate and tangible personal property) in current law, La. R.S. 47:1978. That is, flooded property must be revalued. Property destroyed, uninhabitable, or non-operational due to other hurricane related causes will be revalued as follows: If the local taxing jurisdictions vote to use pro-ration, the tax bill will be prorated for 2005 based on the number of days the property was “habitable”. This pro-ration provision cannot be used by Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard. If the local taxing jurisdictions do not vote to use pro-ration and in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard the property will be revalued in its damaged state for the entire year.
HB 148, as amended, would provide procedures for the revaluation of flooded property.
If the assessment rolls have not yet been certified to the Board of Review, the general assessment rolls must be updated to reflect the damaged value of the property and the normal procedures for contesting the correctness of assessments will apply (appeal to local board of review, appeal from the board of review to the Tax Commission, appeal from the Tax Commission to district court). If the assessment rolls have been certified to the board of review, the assessor must prepare a supplemental assessment roll reflecting the damaged value of the property and the normal procedures for contesting the correctness of assessments will apply. If the assessment rolls have been certified to the Tax Commission, the Assessor may either use a supplemental roll or may issue change orders. If a supplemental roll is used, the normal procedures for contesting the correctness of assessments will apply. If the assessor uses change orders to update the value of damaged property and the taxpayer does not agree with a change order, the taxpayer has ten days from the mailing of the notice of the change order to file an appeal with the Tax Commission and request a hearing. Decisions of the Tax Commission are final unless the decision is appealed to district court with ten days from the mailing of notice of the decision of the Tax Commission.
Under HB 148, as amended, immovable and corporeal movable (i.e. real and tangible personal) property that has been damaged by the hurricanes (other than flood damage) could be revalued under the following provisions:
If the local taxing jurisdictions in a parish (except Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard) properly follow the procedures in the bill and vote to use pro-ration, taxpayers who notify the Tax Collector that they want a reduction in their tax bill because of such damage will be able to have their tax bill revised as follows: The tax liability resulting from the full assessment of the property (valued as of January 1) will be prorated based on the number of months that the property was “habitable” divided by twelve.
If the taxing jurisdictions do not vote to use pro-ration (including Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard), then the assessed value of property will be revised based upon the fair market value of the property taking into consideration the damage and depreciation in value caused by the disaster or emergency and the procedures described above for flooded property will be used.
HB 148, as amended, provides that the revaluations do not result in automatic millage rollups under the provisions of La. Const. art 7, sect. 23. Automatic millage rollups will still occur to cover bonded debt.
Filing of Assessment Rolls
The time for filing tax rolls for 2005 taxes (2006 taxes for Orleans Parish) would be extended until March 31, 2006.
Payment of Taxes
The time for the payment of taxes would be extended for 2005 taxes (2006 taxes for Orleans Parish) to forty-five days after certification and approval of the tax rolls by the Tax Commission or December 31, 2005, whichever is later. [Under this provision, the taxes in the areas of the state that do not require revaluations will be due on December 31 as required by current law. In those parishes were revaluations could be done before November 15, the normal due date of December 31 would apply. In those parishes were revaluations can not be done before November 15 (St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Orleans, and many of the other coastal parishes) the taxes will be due after December 31 based on when the rolls are certified, but in all cases before May 15, 2006].
Application of the Provision of HB 148, as amended.
None of the provisions of HB 148, as amended, will apply in any parish for which the assessments rolls for 2005 were certified, or partially or conditionally certified, by the Tax Commission prior to the effective date of the bill (i.e. as of the date the Governor signs the bill).
HB 148 is substantially through the legislative process and will likely by the instrument that survives, subject to further amendment by the full Senate and conference committee, if the House sends the bill to conference.
SB 103 (Sen. Quinn) and SB 104 (Sen. Schedler) are awaiting Senate Floor action. It is unlikely that theses bill will be moved through the process.
For a recent article on HB 148 as amended click the link below: