One of my favorite websites to get the latest on what's going on here is Noladefender. They have good info on the music scene, new restaurants, crime reports and all this construction clogging our streets. Here is the link. http://www.noladefender.com/
In the last Blog I discussed Historic Tax Credits. Taxes are again the topic, however; this week we'll discuss ways to appeal your property tax assessment.
August 1st begins the two week period each year that we as homeowners are allowed to march down to City Hall and appeal our tax assessment. In the past two years, the Assessor's Office has reassessed the majority of properties in New Orleans. While I feel they have overall done a fair job of assessing current values, there are some homes that have been overvalued.
When you feel your home is overvalued there are several things you should collect prior to heading downtown.
1. Interior and exterior photographs of your home to show current condition and overall size.
2. Insurance documents showing the amount your home is insured for.
3. An appraisal completed preferably during the prior twelve months showing a floor plan with gross living area.
-Gross living area is the total livable area that is heated and cooled. All appraisals should have this .
The Assessor will look at the documentation you provide and compare it with the data they have on file. Typically, the problem is an inaccurate gross living area, or condition.
Regardless of the discrepancy, the Assessor's Office will take a good look at the problem and, I find are quite willing to make a reasonable change.
You can find more information on the Orleans Parish Assessor's Office website
A tax credit is a direct, dollar for dollar, reduction in the amount of money a taxpayer must pay in taxes for a given year. For example, if a taxpayer owest $6,000 in taxes to the IRS, but has a $3000 credit, he or she only pays $3000. A tax credit is much better than a decudtion which merely reduces a taxpayer's income and puts him or her in a lower tax bracket.
The Louisiana Office of Cultural Development Division of Historic Preservation is responsible for processing Historic Tax Credits in Louisiana. The initial paper is somewhat detailed, but once you get past the intial application it's mostly downhill. I find the initial work is well worth the money saved. Homeowner's may qualify for a 25% tax credit(50% for vacant and blighted properties) against their individual state income taxes when they rehabilitate their historic home. The property must be the owner's primary residence, however there is a separate program for income producing property.
Here is a quick overview of the Tax Incentive programs available in Louisiana.Tax Incentive Programs - LA_Tax_Incentives_Program_Quick_Reference_Guide.pdf
For more information check out the States site at http://www.crt.state.la.us/hp/tax_incentives_program.aspx
Ever wonder how your property is zoned? The city of New Orleans has a new Planning and Zoning Lookup Tool. This tool provides zoning information for all properties in New Orleans. It's a free, fast and easy way to find out what your zoning is.
Here is the link
While researching a property in the Garden District of New Orleans I ran across and interesting bit of info. Louisiana Avenue a wide avenue shaded by 100 year old live oak trees was originally named after Joseph Wiltz, a plantation owner in Faubourg Plaisance(later part of the City of Lafayette).
Mr. Wiltz divided the land into forty-two plots, with Grand Cours Wiltz as the main thoroughfare. Early in the the twentieth century the name was officially changed to Louisiana Avenue and Grand Cours Wiltz faded away like a coat of paint in the August sun.