Property taxes can be complex and tough to understand—but don’t worry. This guide will help. Let’s start with some basics:
Property tax basics
Property taxes are assigned by the local governments of parishes, cities, and school districts and fund public services like education. They apply to what’s known as “real property,” which includes:
The amount of property tax you pay is determined by local government budgets, the tax rate, and the value of your home—which can change from year to year.
Property tax rates in Louisiana
The property tax rate is determined by a government’s budget. Essentially, a local government creates a budget to fulfill the community’s needs and then analyzes what the required tax rate would be to meet that budget based on the properties in their jurisdiction. Louisiana’s average rate is 0.55%—the fifth lowest of any state in the U.S. The median tax bill is around $1,065 per year, which is less than half the national average of $2,795.
Most of Shreveport lies in Caddo Parish, and the average property tax rate here is 0.49%. That’s even lower than the State of Louisiana’s and equates to a yearly median tax bill of about $556 for residents.
Across the Red River, Bossier City lies in Bossier Parish, which has an average property tax rate of 0.44%. Though the rate is lower than Caddo Parish’s, the median property tax bill is actually higher at $577. This is due to higher property values in Bossier City.
How Louisiana property taxes are determined
How does a tax assessor decide how much you owe each year? In Louisiana, property tax amounts are determined by multiplying the tax rate (or millage rate) by the assessed value of the property. The assessed value of your home is typically a lot lower than the “market value,” which is the number you’re used to seeing. But don’t worry—the assessed value doesn’t change how much your house is worth; it’s only used for tax purposes.
How does the assessor come up with the assessed value of your home? The process is laid out in the Louisiana constitution and by the Louisiana Tax Commission. First, the fair market value of your home is determined. Then, just 10% of that number becomes your home’s assessed value.
That assessed value is then multiplied by the tax rate to give you the dollar amount that shows up on your bill—minus the homestead exemption if it’s applicable to you.
Louisiana requires that all properties be reassessed at least every four years, but a reassessment can be done at any time.
Where do property tax dollars go in Louisiana?
Property tax dollars fund local government budgets. In Louisiana, they pay for the following:
- Police protection
- K-12 Education
- Construction of public projects such as water systems and roads
- Emergency services
- And more!
Property taxes collected in Caddo Parish fund the following:
- The Caddo Parish School Board
- Caddo Parish Commission
- The Sheriff
- The Library System
- The Red River Waterway Commission, Assessor, Port, Biomedical Research Foundation, and others
Property taxes collected in Bossier Parish fund the following:
- Law enforcement
- Fire protection
How to pay property taxes in Louisiana
Homeowners in Louisiana receive property tax bills in December. This bill will detail the tax rates of each taxing unit and how much you owe. Taxes are due by December 31st—and it’s important to pay them on time. If you’re late, there’s an added interest rate of 1% per month until you make your payment.
In Caddo Parish, you can pay your property tax bill:
Online at caddosheriff.org
In person at the CPSO Tax Office
located inside the Caddo Courthouse, 501 Texas St. - Room 101 in Shreveport
You can pay using cash, credit card, cashier’s check, or money order. Personal checks aren’t accepted.
In Bossier Parish, you can pay your property tax bill:
By mail to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, Tax Office
P.O. Box 850, Benton, LA 71006. (965-3400)
Online at bossiersheriff.com
In-person or by drive-through at any of the following convenient Bossier Parish locations from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday:
Viking Drive Substation, 2510 Viking Dr. in Bossier City, (318) 965-3500.
Arthur Ray Teague Substation, 3135 Arthur Ray Teague Pkwy., 549-3317
Bossier Parish Courthouse, 204 Burt Blvd., (first floor), 965-3400
Drive-thru is located at the Criminal Division, Patrol/Detectives Building, 196 Burt Blvd., 965-3065.
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