Webster Parish is in its second week of property tax collections. Property taxes are due December 31, 2018.
Tax rates on property vary throughout the parish based on millages voted on for institutions such as schools, law enforcement, fire departments, and libraries. A mil is one one-thousandth of a dollar. In property tax terms, it is equal to $1.00 of tax for each $1,000 of assessment.
When bonds for needs such as schools are passed, they have to be paid off in a set amount of years. If tax income based on properties in the area changes, property owners may see an increase in their taxes which is the case for much of the Sarepta area.
According to Webster Parish Assessor Morris Guin, the Webster Parish School Board had to increase a millage in the area from 49 mils to 60.41 mils to ensure a bond that was voted on be paid off on time.
“It must be paid off. Most of them are bound by 15 to 20 years and they must be paid off. People 10 years ago may have voted this mil in the parish and the school board may have to increase the millage to pay the bond off in time,” Guin said.
The Evergreen community in the Shongaloo district has one of the lowest millage rates at 88.2 mils. This area goes from Ward 2 North to Highway 160.
There are 25,382 property tax-payers in Webster parish. 12,388 homes fall under the Homestead Tax Exemption. 8,304 of those homes are completely covered under the exemption.
“Minden, Doyline, Cotton Valley, Cullen, and Sarepta are all collected by Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office. The municipalities of Springhill and Sibley send out their own notices,” Guin explained.
There is a large difference in the taxes paid on different types of property. There were 38 new homes built in the parish this year. The average taxes per house were $1527. While there were 98 mobile homes added to the parish this year with an average tax amount of $59.20.
Property owners can visit the Webster Parish Assessor’s website at websterassessor.org for important dates, maps, forms, and a tax estimator.
“It’s really informative, there’s an index on the side that can help people find maps and search their property” Guinn said.
Property owners who pay after December 31 will have to pay an additional one percent penalty for each month they are late. In February the Sheriff’s Department will send out certified notices which will incur additional fees. In March, advertising tax sales will incur additional fees as well. Property owners can check their payment status on the Webster Assessor website.