By Jeff Tuthill
On March 22, Governor John Bel Edwards issued a shelter-in-place order for the state of Louisiana. Just two days later, he requested and received a major disaster declaration for the state. Both were done based on the soaring number of COVID-19 cases spawning from the outbreak that started in the New Orleans metropolitan area.
As we have seen all over the country, orders like these have greatly affected property owners. This especially has affected two very important property classes in this state—hospitality and retail. Hotel occupancies have plummeted in this tourism-focused economy, and retail owners/tenants have seen their businesses marginalized or even rendered nonoperational. Given these unique times, there may be opportunities for additional property tax relief for owners based on these government actions.
Louisiana operates on a quadrennial revaluation cycle. The last of which was in 2016, making 2020 the next revaluation year. As of January, all parishes have started this process. Given the timing of the quadrennial revaluation during the pandemic, there is an opportunity to apply the effects of the Governor’s orders to these newly minted assessments during the “open book” assessment review period. We anticipate this to take place in Q3 of this year.
The experts at Ryan believe there is opportunity to consider economic losses, both with income operations as well as obsolesce in the cost approach. These will aid in formulating strong arguments in informal reviews as well as formal appeals. Given Ryan’s experience, tenure, and strong relationships with the parishes, we are uniquely positioned to assist property owners in navigating the appeal process. Ryan will continue to keep you informed of the timing of the appeal opportunities as well as any changes to the scheduled revaluation made by the state or individual parishes. Please reference the following sources below for updates on Louisiana property tax relief.
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The material presented in this communication is intended to provide general information only and should solely be seen as broad guidance and not directed to the particular facts or circumstances of any individual who may read this publication. No liability is accepted for acts or omissions taken in reliance upon the content of this piece. Before taking (or not taking) any action, readers should seek professional advice specific to their situation from Ryan, LLC or other tax professionals. For additional information about this topic, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.