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New parish tax assessments near complete

by Minden Press-Herald

Approval of tax assessments has been pushed back to October to await the outcome of a special election for the Road District B tax.

Webster Parish Tax Assessor Morris Guin said assessments are nearly complete, but they don’t have the numbers in yet.

The Road District B tax, which funds road repairs and projects in the north end of Webster Parish, failed in the December 2016 election, and the police jury called for a special election for Oct. 14 in hopes of getting it passed. It is not a new tax, but rather a tax renewal.

“That’s what’s holding everything up,” he said. “It will be after Oct. 20 when rates are approved, and we should have everything in by then. We don’t have anything finalized yet. We’re waiting to see what the millage rates are going to be. From Aug. 18 until Sept. 1, we’re going to have the public exposure of the tax rolls, where people can come in and check their assessments.”

The deadline for the board of appeal is Tuesday, Sept. 26. On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Webster Parish Jury will serve as the board of review where people can discuss any objections or ask questions regarding their assessments. A 10-day waiting period will follow from Monday, Oct. 9 until Friday, Oct. 20.

“If someone doesn’t agree with their taxes, then they can come to us, and if we can’t help them, they can go to the police jury and present their protest, and if that doesn’t work, they can go to the state tax commission to talk about their complaint,” he said. “The tax commission will settle any disagreements.”

Guin said homeowners or business owners should come to the tax assessor’s office to discuss any complaints. For those in Springhill and the surrounding areas, they should also come to the Minden office, he said. The office in the north end of the parish is a satellite office, he added.

With the oil and gas industry stagnant in Webster Parish, millage rates will likely increase to allow governmental entities that have bond issues to keep up their payments, he said. Guin does not expect the oil and gas industry to pick up enough this year to keep millage rates lower.

“There’s just so many variables right now, and oil and gas is one of them,” he said. “When I went to the state tax commission in October 2016, we were getting the benefit of some things. Last year, we had one drilling rig in the parish and a lot of equipment in the parish. We don’t have that this year.”

In light of that, citizens should come view the tax rolls during the public inspection period to see what they will be, he said.

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