Overview of Louisiana Taxes
At just 0.46%, Louisiana has the third lowest effective property tax rate of any U.S. state. The median property tax payment in Louisiana is $644 per year.
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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 Tax
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
For anyone who hates paying property taxes, Louisiana might be a great state to be a homeowner. It has the third lowest effective property tax rate of any U.S. state at just 0.46%. That means most homeowners pay less than $1,000 annual in taxes on real estate. In fact, the median property tax payment in Louisiana is $644 per year.
One reason Louisiana has such low property taxes for homeowners 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. Read on to find out how that exemption works and to learn about other key Louisiana property tax rules.
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 December 31st. 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, although by state law this is generally only done 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 market value has been determined the assessment percentage is applied. For residential property in Louisiana assessed value is equal to 10% of market value. 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.
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.
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 millages. A millage 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||$166,000||$854||0.51%|
|St. John the Baptist||$149,900||$547||0.36%|
|West Baton Rouge||$141,900||$592||0.42%|
East Baton Rouge Parish
East Baton Rouge Parish is the most populous parish in Louisiana and contains the state capital, Baton Rouge. While property tax rates in East Baton Rouge Parish rank among the ten highest in Louisiana, they are still quite low as compared with the rest of the country. The average effective property tax rate in East Baton Rouge Parish is 0.51%, less than half the national average.
Located in southeast Louisiana adjacent to the city of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish has the 13th highest property tax rate in the state at 0.47%. At that rate, a homeowner with a home worth $200,000 would pay about $940 annually in property taxes.
Thinking about a move to New Orleans? The city (which is coterminous with Orleans Parish) has the second highest property tax rates in the state of Louisiana, although those rates are still far below the national average. The average effective property tax rate in New Orleans is 0.70%. The median annual property tax payment in New Orleans is $1,297, more than $800 less than the national median.
The typical homeowner in Caddo Parish pays just $674 annually in property taxes, less than a third of the national average. That amount, however, will vary depending on where you live and how much your home is worth. In Shreveport, the largest city in Caddo Parish, the median annual property tax payment is slightly higher at $714.
St. Tammany Parish
St. Tammany Parish has the highest property tax in Louisiana, with an average effective rate of 0.82%. However, property owners in St. Tammany Parish may be getting their money’s worth, especially those who have kids. One of the largest recipients of property tax dollars are local schools. The schools in St. Tammany Parish received an “A” from the state of Louisiana in 2014, one of just 10 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 0.50%. At that rate, the taxes due on a home valued at $200,000 would be $1,000 per year.
Rates in Lafayette Parish differ between urban and rural areas. For example, while the county millage rate is around 80 mills, the City of Lafayette has an additional tax of about 18 mills. That tax would cost about $350 per year on that same $200,000 home in the example above.
Calcasieu Parish is the seventh most populous parish in Louisiana. The median annual property tax payment in Calcasieu Parish is just $398 per year. While home values are relatively low (the median home value is $118,300), property tax rates are even lower. The parish’s average effective property tax rate of 0.34% ranks as the 62nd lowest of any U.S. county or parish (out of over 3,100).
Ouachita Parish is located in northeast Louisiana and contains the city of Monroe. Total millage rates in the parish vary by ward and by city. In Monroe the total 2014 millage rate was 110.35 mills. Of that, 83.20 mills are non-city taxes and are eligible for the homestead exemption. 27.15 are the tax for the city of Monroe and therefore do not qualify for the homestead exemption.
Situated in central Louisiana along the Red River, Rapides Parish has an average effective property tax rate of 0.42%. That ranks as the 20th highest rate of any Louisiana parish.
Livingston Parish has the 6th highest average effective property tax rate of any parish in Louisiana at 0.53%. Those taxes, however, go to support some of the best schools in the state. The state of Louisiana gave the parish an “A” for the performance of its public schools in 2014. That marked an improvement over 2013, when the schools received a “B.”
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
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 for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
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.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites