The damage caused to property by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana was significant. Many businesses will or already have made claims with their insurers for property damage, loss of equipment, inventory, and business interruption. One area of loss that is sometimes overlooked is the loss in value of the property as it relates to the 2021 property taxes due to Hurricane Ida. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Louisiana legislature enacted La. R.S. 47:1978.1, which provides for the assessment of land and property damaged or destroyed during a disaster or emergency declared by the Governor.
On September 12, 2021, Governor John Bell Edwards declared a State of Emergency for the State of Louisiana due to Tropical Storm Ida.
The provisions contained in La. R.S. 47:1978.1 are applicable as a result of the devastating impact of Hurricane Ida throughout Louisiana. The statute provides:
If 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 described in this Section. Notwithstanding other provisions of law to the contrary, the assessor shall make these assessments whether the time fixed by law for filing assessment rolls has elapsed or not.
As of September 24, 2021, the Orleans Parish Assessor has announced a five percent (5%) reduction on all residential property taxes and is opening its roles beginning September 23, 2021 through October 7, 2021 for property owners to request additional relief due to damage from Hurricane Ida.
The Jefferson Parish Assessor’s Office has announced it is opening its tax rolls from September 29, 2021 through October 13, 2021. Property owners may review their assessments and apply for additional relief during this time. Plaquemines Parish has announced it is opening its tax rolls from September 28, 2021 through October 13, 2021 and other parishes have announced similar dates or are still evaluating the times in which they will open their rolls.
Property owners should document all damage to their property, including photographs, receipts, and any other information showing the claimed damage to include in their application with the assessor for additional relief.
You can visit the assessor’s website for the parish your property is located in for more information on how to submit your application for relief. If the assessor determines that you did not sustain a loss, or if the assessor determines the loss is less than you believe, you may appeal the assessor’s decision to the Louisiana Tax Commission.