Residents sounding off about property tax increases - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Residents sounding off about property tax increases

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If you've checked your mail lately, you've probably received your property tax bill. Some property owners in Calcasieu Parish may have noticed that their bill has gone up. That's because 2012 was a reassessment year.

Since posting our thread about Calcasieu property taxes on Facebook, we've received more than 200 comments.

Jessica Ellender said, "My property tax DOUBLED!!!"

Like Jessica, most residents said their property taxes have also gone up significantly.

Lorri Dailey said, "Ours went from 110 to 650. We get this one month before it's due? Awesome."

With the deadline to pay the bill slated Dec. 31, everyone is ranting.

Ashley Fancher said, "My daddy's went from $200 to $1,500. I'm not even sure how I'm gonna pay it either."

Stacy Dowden said, "Mine went up almost $1500 and they appraised my house for over $50,000 more than it was appraised a year before when we bought it."

Raymond Fontenot said, "Ours went up 50 percent. If I would have know this was coming, I would have never moved to Lake Charles."  

So why the increase?

According to Calcasieu Tax Assessor Wendy Aguillard, they are required by state law to reassess real estate every four years and 2012 was a mandated reassessment year.

Back in July, more than 62,000 property owners received cards notifying them that their property taxes would increase. Aguillard said multiple factors go into the equation. She explained they reassess properties based on math appraisal averages of new construction, home sales in subdivisions and up-to-date data from permits issued across the parish.

Aguillard said, by law, they have to reassess as close to the favorable market value as possible. If they fail to do so, the Louisiana Tax Commission will verify and force the increase. However, Aguillard admits working with averages there is room for error and if residents think their property tax is not right, her office would be happy to check and make the necessary adjustments if needed.

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