Overview of Louisiana Taxes
At just 0.52%, Louisiana has the third lowest effective property tax rate of any U.S. state. The median annual property tax payment in Louisiana is $795, though this can drop to around $200 in some counties. Nationwide, the median property tax payment is a significantly pricier $2,090.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Louisiana Property Taxes
Louisiana has some of the lowest property tax rates in the U.S., as only Alabama and Hawaii residents pay less on average than residents of the Pelican State. Compared to the nationwide 1.08% average effective property tax rate, Louisiana has a generous rate at 0.52%.
One reason Louisiana has such low property taxes is the state’s generous homestead exemption, which reduces the taxable value of owner-occupied properties by $7,500 in assessed value. That saves many homeowners hundreds of dollars each year.
If you’re looking to buy a home in Louisiana, take a look at our Louisiana mortgage guide to gain a better sense of the ins and outs of getting a mortgage in Louisiana.
A financial advisor in Louisiana can help you understand how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, retirement and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
How Louisiana Property Taxes Work
Property tax bills in Louisiana follow an annual cycle. They are generally sent out in November of each year and are due by Dec. 31. Any bills not paid by that date are considered delinquent. The taxes due are based on two factors: the assessed value of your property and your local tax rate.
Local assessors are in charge of establishing assessed values. The first step is to determine market value. By state law, all property in a parish (which is equivalent to a county) must be assessed at least once every four years for existing properties. To calculate value most assessors use a sales approach. This is when they use the sales prices of nearby comparable properties to determine market values for properties across a certain area.
Once a property’s market value has been determined, the assessment percentage is applied. For residential property in Louisiana, assessed value is equal to 10% of market value. So if your home has a market value of $100,000, your assessed value would be $10,000.
Homeowners in Louisiana are eligible for the homestead exemption, which can significantly reduce property taxes owed. The homestead exemption applies to owner-occupied primary residences and reduces assessed value by $7,500. Thus, the net assessed taxable value for the home in the above example would be just $2,500.
Note, however, that the homestead exemption does not apply to city taxes. Thus, when calculating city taxes, you must use the full assessed value without the exemption.
Louisiana Property Tax Rates
Many types of local government entities in Louisiana can levy property taxes. These tax authorities each have their own rates, which generate the revenue they need to operate. Thus, for a single homeowner, the total tax rate is the sum of all the individual rates of any local tax districts.
The property tax rates that appear on bills are denominated in millage rate. A mill is equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 of net assessed taxable value. If your net assessed taxable value is $10,000 and your total millage rate is 50, your taxes owed will be $500.
Another way of comparing tax rates between districts and between states is the effective tax rate. The effective tax rate is equal to annual tax payment divided by home value. It gives a good idea of what taxes will be based on the actual market value of a home. The table below shows average effective property tax rates for every parish in Louisiana.
|Parish||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
|East Baton Rouge||$177,800||$1,058||0.60%|
|St. John the Baptist||$152,800||$580||0.38%|
|West Baton Rouge||$177,000||$795||0.45%|
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East Baton Rouge Parish
East Baton Rouge Parish is the most populous county in Louisiana and contains the state capital of Baton Rouge. While the property tax rate in East Baton Rouge Parish ranks among the top 10 highest in Louisiana, it is still quite low when compared to the rest of the U.S. The average effective property tax rate in East Baton Rouge Parish is 0.60%, which is just over half the national average.
Located in southeast Louisiana adjacent to the city of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish has the 15th highest property tax rate in the state at 0.52%. This rate is based on a median home value of $176,000 and a median annual tax payment of $916, the latter of which is the eighth highest in the state.
Thinking about a move to New Orleans? The city, which is coterminous with Orleans Parish, has the second highest property tax rate in the state of Louisiana, although it's still far below the national average. The average effective property tax rate here is 0.80% and the median annual property tax payment is $1,637.
If you have questions about how property taxes can affect your overall financial plans, a financial advisor in New Orleans can help you out.
The typical homeowner in Caddo Parish pays $887 annually in property taxes, which is less than half the national average. That amount will vary depending on where you live and how much your home is worth. However, the median home value in the parish is $138,200.
St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish has the highest property taxes in Louisiana, with an average effective rate of 0.82%. One of the largest recipients of property tax dollars in the parish are local schools. It’s also worth noting that the schools in St. Tammany Parish received an A grade from the state of Louisiana in 2017. It was one of just 17 districts out of 74 to score top marks.
Located in southern Louisiana, Lafayette Parish has property tax rates similar to those of other urban parishes in Louisiana. The average effective property tax rate in the parish is 0.53%. At that rate, the taxes due on a home equal to the county's $172,500 median value would be $913 per year. In comparison, the statewide median home value is $152,900 and the median annual property tax payment is $795.
Rates in Lafayette Parish differ between urban and rural areas. For example, while the county millage rate is around 85 mills, the city of Lafayette levies an additional property tax of around 15 mills. As a result, that tax would cause the property taxes for a home worth $200,000 to raise about $300 annually. Over multiple years, this could end up costing you a significant chunk of change.
Calcasieu Parish is the seventh most populous parish in Louisiana. The median annual property tax payment in Calcasieu Parish is just $573 per year. While the parish's $138,100 median home value is relatively low compared to national marks, property tax rates are even lower. The parish’s average effective property tax rate of 0.41% ranks in the lowest 150 of all U.S. counties and parishes.
Ouachita Parish is located in northeast Louisiana and contains the city of Monroe. A typical homeowner in the Parish can expect to pay around $679 in annual property tax payments on a home valued at about $133,400. The average effective property tax rate in the county is 0.51%.
Situated in central Louisiana along the Red River, Rapides Parish has an average effective property tax rate of 0.43%. That comes in below the state average of 0.52%, and is almost a third of the 1.08% U.S. average.
At 0.54%, Livingston Parish has a near average effective property tax rate in Louisiana. But because median home values reside around $156,000, the median property tax bill ranks in the upper half of the state. In fact, residents here will pay somewhere around $840 a year in property taxes.
Places Receiving the Most Value for Their Property Taxes
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most value for their property tax dollars. To do this, we looked at property taxes paid, school rankings and the change in property values over a five-year period.
First, we used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
Then, we calculated the change in property tax value in each county over a five-year period. Places where property values rose by the greatest amount indicated where consumers were motivated to buy homes, and a positive return on investment for homeowners in the community.
Finally, we calculated a property tax index, based on the criteria above. Counties with the highest scores were those where property tax dollars are going the furthest.