LIVINGSTON — The more than 40 property tax millages in Livingston Parish generally will yield more to their taxing bodies this year than last, but that doesn’t mean more money will come out of the pockets of most homeowners, according to officials with the Assessor’s Office.
The library system rolled its maintenance millage to the maximum amount.
The Livingston Council on Aging, Fire District 1, Fire District 5 and the village of Killian also raised their millages to the maximum, assessor’s records show.
The Livingston Parish Council raised its three millages and that of the health unit by 2 percent, citing inflation costs.
The Assessor’s Office also raised its millage by 2 percent.
Even other governmental bodies that kept 24 millages the same as last year will receive more money because the total value of taxable property in the parish went up, Deputy Assessor Patty Harrison said.
The total assessed value of taxable property in the parish rose 3.7 percent this year, increasing from $407.3 million in 2010 to $422.4 million in 2011, records show.
The millages paid by individual homeowners varies widely depending on where their homes fall in a cobweb of taxing districts.
Varying millages from fire districts, drainage districts, recreation districts, school districts, a flood-control district and municipalities determine the property tax millages for individual homeowners.
Last year, the average homeowner paid about 120 mills, which would be $1,800 for a house valued at $150,000.
If that house had homestead exemption, the amount of taxes would be $900, Harrison said.
Though millages will vary from area to area, the average homeowner may see total millages drop slightly this year, Harrison said.
While some millages have gone up, those will be offset in many areas by the lowering of school district millages tied to paying off bonds, Assessor Jeff Taylor said.
Records show six of the eight school districts lowered such millages.
The school district millage went up in the Maurepas area and stayed the same in Watson, records show.
The eight school district millages are linked to the amount needed to make payments on the interest and principal of the bonds the districts have sold to make school improvements, Taylor said.
The millages can change because of changes in the amount of taxable property and because of collections the previous year, Taylor said.
Excess collections occur when more than the predicted 92 percent of taxes are collected in an area, Taylor said.
The 92 percent figure is used not just because some people fail to pay their taxes, but because the amount of taxable property can drop after millages are set.
That happens because of actions like late filings for homestead exemption, Taylor said.
Taylor said major changes could occur in assessments and how much individuals may have to pay in property taxes next year. All of the property in the parish will be up for reassessment, which happens every four years.
“It’s too early in the cycle to say exactly what is going to happen,” Taylor said.
Generally, the value of upscale homes in Livingston Parish 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.