Constitutional Amendment 6 would Cap Assessment increases at 10%

Ballot item benefiting Orleans Parish requires statewide vote Nov. 8.

One of the items at the bottom of the November 8 ballot may merit top of the ticket interest for New Orleans homeowners.

Constitutional Amendment #6 will put a 10 percent annual cap on assessment increases for Homestead Exempt properties in Orleans Parish.

A number of states, including Texas, Arkansas, and Illinois, have similar legal limits on assessment increases in place.

If it passes, CA #6 will provide protection for New Orleans homeowners from large property tax increases due to major changes in real estate market. For example, the home you bought for $200,000 is reappraised to be worth $400,000, instead of your taxable assessment doubling (20,000 to 40,000), the increase would be capped at 10 percent per year (20,000 to 22,000).

“Housing prices now are significantly higher than they were January 1, 2019, our last revaluation date,” said Assessor Erroll Williams. “The market is just now starting to slow down due to interest rate increases, but for years there was a combination of low interest rates, proliferation of short term rentals, and gentrification in some neighborhoods that have driven home sales numbers and prices higher and higher. Even with the recent declines, values are much higher than they were four years ago.”

For Orleans Parish, the average sales price of a home in January 2019 was approximately $256,000, in August 2022 that figure is about $340,000, a 33 percent increase.

The Louisiana Constitution requires all properties in a parish to be revalued at least once every four years. The last quadrennial revaluation was for the 2020 tax year. The next quadrennial revaluation begins July 17, 2023, for the 2024 tax year.

“It’s important to realize that even though the average home price is up 33 percent from our last revaluation,” said Assessor Williams, “that doesn’t mean your assessment is going up 33 percent. Values in Uptown, Riverbend, Marigny, Bywater, Lakeview, and Mid-City have gone up significantly whereas much of New Orleans East and Algiers haven’t changed too much. If Constitutional Amendment 6 passes, it will ease the burden of for homeowners in highly desirable neighborhoods that have seen those major changes.”

While assessors in Louisiana are Constitutionally required to determine fair market value for the purpose of taxation, they do not collect taxes nor do they set the tax (millage) rate. Tax recipient agencies such as the City Council, School Board, and Sheriff may levy a lower or higher tax rate up to the limit approved by voters for each entity.

CA #6 was authored by Rep. Matthew Willard and co-sponsored by Senator Joe Bouie, Rep. Stephanie Hilferty and Rep. Mandie Landry. It passed as Act 129 of the 2021 legislative session. Even though the amendment is specific to Orleans Parish it requires statewide approval to take effect.

Early Voting begins Tuesday, October 25, 2022, and ends Tuesday, November 1, 2022, excluding Sunday.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

“Real estate values have skyrocketed over the past four years. But that doesn’t mean your tax bill has to,” said Assessor Williams.