Glossary

Ad Valorem: (Latin for "according to value") is a tax whose amount is based on the value of property.

Agricultural Land or Use Value: land devoted to the production for sale, in reasonable commercial quantities, of plants and animals, or their products, useful to man and agricultural land under a contract with a state or federal agency restricting its use for agricultural production

Assessed Value: the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes. Residential is 10% of fair market value; Commercial is 15% of market value.

Fair Market Value: is defined by Louisiana Revised Statute 47:2321 as follows:

"Fair Market Value is the price for property which would be agreed upon between a willing and informed seller under usual and ordinary circumstances; it shall be the highest price estimated in terms of money which property will bring if exposed for sale on the open market with reasonable time allowed to find a purchaser who is buying with knowledge of all the uses and purposes to which the property is best adapted and for which it can be legally used."

Homestead Exemption: a property tax exemption for qualified owners of up to $7,500 of assessed value. (See Real Estate section for qualifications)

Improvement: any structure or addition to a tract of land which will increase value or use. (In real estate, the term “improvement” refers to all structures, not necessarily a renovation)

Mass Appraisal: the process of valuing a large quantity of similar properties as of a given date using standard methodology.

Millage Rates: In simplest terms, most people would refer to this as a tax rate for ad valorem tax purposes. Mils are taxes imposed by each taxing body for a specific purpose. They can be implemented by a vote of the people, allowed legislatively or constitutionally.

For more information regarding millage, you should view the Louisiana Legislative Auditors website.

The Millage Rate is the amount per $1,000 of assessed value used to calculate taxes on property. The Millage Rate is multiplied by the total taxable value of the property to arrive at the property taxes due. For Example: Taxable value 10,000 x .06751 mills = $675.10 of taxes due.

Reassessment: the process in which all property values are analyzed and brought within range of fair market value of a specific date set by the Louisiana Tax Commission. According to state law this must take place a minimum of once every four years for all real property.

According to LA RS 47:2331 assessments of real property shall be based on a reassessment of all such real property; and such real property shall be reappraised at least every four years thereafter and all assessments of personal property shall be based on a reassessment of all such personal property, and such personal property shall be reappraised every year thereafter.

Tax Commission: A state regulatory agency whose responsibilities include but are not limited to: the overseeing of all assessors and administering property tax laws and regulations.

Taxing Body: This term is used to refer to the different departments which impose and collect ad valorem taxes, (i.e. school board, sheriff, assessor, parish government, etc.)