Taxable value of property in Avoyelles increased in 2016

Taxable value of property in Avoyelles Parish increased by about $4 million in 2016 due to the re-assessment of property, Avoyelles Tax Assessor Heath Pastor said.
Pastor served as chief deputy assessor for 16 years and his four-year term as assessor began Jan. 1. He noted that when out-going Assessor Emeric Dupuy and he started their service in the assessor’s office 16 years ago, the taxable value of property in the parish was $63 million.
Property is re-assessed every four years to ensure the tax rolls reflect current market values and to take into consideration any significant changes in a parish or the local economy -- such as the opening or closing of a major manufacturing plant, greater demand for property for development or major disasters that might impact property values, Pastor said.
The total assessed value of property in Avoyelles is almost $201.1 million. The “taxable value,” which excludes homestead exemption on residences, is $140,066,332, Pastor said. The taxable value in 2015 was $136,227,336 while the total assessed value of property was over $196.7 million.
Approximately $1.6 million in property taxes was paid by five entities. Those taxpayers’ property accounts for over 22 percent of the taxable value in the parish.
Cleco is the top taxpayer in the parish at $724,067, with Acadian Gas Pipeline System second at $559,206.
Cleco property’s taxable value is $14,040,480 --more than 10 percent of the parish’s total taxable property value.
Acadian Gas’ taxable value is $10,843,640.
Both utility companies are “public services” and are assessed at 25 percent of their property values.
The other three companies in the “Top 5” are Martineau Petroleum, Union Bank and Kerotest Manufacturing. Each of those pays over $100,000 in property taxes and has assessed values at over $2 million. They, and other business/commercial properties, are assessed at 15 percent of their property’s value.
Residential homeowners and agricultural properties are assessed at 10 percent of the home’s value.
Pastor said approximately 25.6 percent of the taxable value of property in the parish is owned by public services. Another 21.8 percent is owned by business/commercial interests. The remaining 52.6 percent are residential and agricultural properties.
If any property owners in Avoyelles are subject to “sticker shock” from their 2016 property tax bills, it would be those in Bunkie.
Pastor said voters approved a 25-mill property tax in 2015 to fund sewer system improvements. That tax came on the rolls this year.
“It is a municipal tax, and municipal taxes are not subject to homestead exemption,” Pastor noted. “That means homeowners will be paying taxes based on the the full taxable value of their homes.”
Property owners in Wards 6,7,8 and 11 -- the new parish Road District 2 -- will see their property taxes increase by about 40 percent later this year, when they get the first tax bill reflecting the recently passed 30-mill tax.
Pastor said that even though that road district tax is not being collected now, the district’s road commission could decide to sell bonds to obtain some operating funds now and pay those bonds off over a year or two, or adopt a pay-as-you-go plan and do work as the tax is collected.

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