LIVINGSTON — The taxable value of property in Livingston Parish rose 3.7 percent this year, records from the Livingston Parish Assessor’s Office show.
That mainly represents new businesses, Assessor Jeff Taylor said.
Walker Mayor Bobby Font said upward of 50 businesses opened in his municipality alone this year, and “more are on the horizon.”
The overall increase in taxable property came despite a decline of almost 3 percent in movable business property, according to records from the Assessor’s Office.
Much of the movable property decrease has to do with inventories, particularly on car lots, and with stock values of financial institutions, Deputy Assessor Patty Harrison said.
Part of that decline resulted from closures of some financial institution branches in the parish, Harrison said.
The value of homes and other real estate rose 3.3 percent, records show.
The parish has about 42,940 residences, Harrison said.
Construction of new homes and businesses has more than offset decreases in values that have shown up so far in existing homes, said Taylor, who added that he is pleased with the numbers, considering the nation’s economy.
But Taylor expects a major difference next year, when all of the property in the parish is up for reassessment. Most homes and businesses that existed three years ago haven’t had their assessments changed during that period, which has shown decreases in home values in much of the nation.
“You’ll see a huge change next year” when the new assessments come out, Taylor said.
So far, property values in some areas of the parish have held up well, while other areas “have dropped dramatically,” he said.
Generally in Livingston Parish, the value of upscale homes has fallen, while middle-class homes have come closer to maintaining their value and some less-expensive homes have gained in value, the assessor said.
The total assessed value of homes and other real estate is $554.6 million. Assessors are supposed to value homes at 10 percent of their real market value.
The taxable value of homes and other real estate in the parish rose to $329.1 million this year from $314.9 million last year, the assessor’s records show.
This year’s taxable value represents the assessed value minus the $225.5 million in homestead exemptions given in the parish this year.
Under homestead exemptions, the first $75,000 of a homeowner’s primary residence is not taxable.
The total taxable value of property in the parish received a big boost from public service property, which rose 8 percent in value. Its worth grew from $32.5 million to more than $35 million.
Public service property includes pipelines, railways, fiber optics and power lines, Harrison said.