The Webster Parish Tax Assessor’s Office is proud to announce that the second Annual Report from their office will be mailed out to taxpayers in the parish over the next few weeks. The report will provide plenty of helpful information citizens can look over to become more informed on topics such as Tax Roll Overview, Tax Dollars at Work, Special Assessment Levels, Approaches to Values, and the Millage Rate Process and how it works.
Webster Parish Tax Assessor Denise Edwards stated that this year’s report will focus on ways taxpayers can stay involved and be informed when their local tax districts are setting their millage throughout the year. “I’m delighted to keep the citizens of Webster Parish informed on the current operation of my office and keep the tax base knowledgeable on the kind of figures generated through property taxes that keep our local government working for the people,” said Edwards.
Not only excited to send out the Annual Report, Edwards was also happy to share the news that her office has once again elected to lower the Assessment District millage rate for the second year in a row. Within her first two years as assessor, she has kept the millage lowered and saved the taxpayers of Webster Parish approximately one million dollars in property taxes. She believes that if her office can run effectively at a lower rate then she has a fiscal responsibility to do so.
So where was taxpayer money saved? Edwards stated that it is all in how a governing entity handles their millage and if they adjust forward or opt not to. She acknowledged that it is important for taxing districts to levy the maximum millage if needed so they have the monies necessary to effectively maintain operations. If a taxing district opts not to adjust their millage forward and receive the max millage — which has been the case in the Assessment District these past two years — then the savings are passed on to the tax base.
All this talk about millage rates was also a good segue for Edwards to remind Webster Parish citizens about a Constitutional Amendment that will be appearing on people’s ballots this November, that being Amendment No. 5.
Currently, taxing districts are required by state law to adjust their millage forward every so often to keep their max millage. If taxing districts fail to levy their maximum millage, it could cause budgetary shortfalls affecting governmental services for the public. Essentially, taxing districts are heavily incentivized to levy their maximum millage or else face the consequences of having reduced funding in the years to come.
If Amendment 5 were to pass, then taxing districts won’t have their hand forced when it comes to the decision to not levy their maximum millage. This would allow taxing districts the flexibility to save the taxpayers money without fear of losing the max millage option.
If you would like any further information on millage, Amendment 5, or any property tax information, Edwards says her door is always open, and she and her staff are happy to assist the public with any questions, concerns, or needs. All taxpayers should receive the Annual Report by mail, but you can always stop in at the assessor’s office to pick up a copy.