The City-Parish Council is slated to hear appeals Tuesday from five commercial real estate owners who are challenging the recent parishwide reassessment of property values. Two of the commercial buildings up for discussion at the council meeting are located on Jefferson Street, an area of town that saw dramatic increases in property values — and higher property tax bills — following this year’s reassessment.
According to the CPC agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, Roselawn Properties Inc., owned by former Lafayette Parish councilwoman Kathy Ashworth, is requesting that the council decrease the listed property values at 220 and 736 Jefferson St. The downtown buildings in question house Shakers Night Club and Marc Isaac Salon and have been valued at $1.38 million and $283,862, respectively. The appeal before the council calls for the Shakers building to be assessed using a commercial value of $524,176, more than $850,000 less than the Lafayette Parish Tax Assessor’s Office calculated during the 2012 state-mandated reassessment period. The property owner is also asking that the salon building’s property value be decreased to $198,770.
As IND Monthly noted in its September news story, “Taxing Times,” most commercial buildings in the city’s central business district saw a hefty increase in property values during this reassessment period after a 2011 IND Monthly investigation found several seemingly low downtown property values listed at the assessor’s office. Lower property values equal less property taxes that fund Lafayette Parish public schools and other critical services.
Before goint to the council, property owners take their case to Assessor Conrad Comeaux’s office, the first step in the reassessment appeals process. According to Comeaux’s website, property owners must first meet with a deputy assessor and “prove that the parish’s assessment of your property exceeded market value and explain why.” If property owners disagree with the deputy assessor’s decision, their next available recourse is to go before the City-Parish Council and request a revaluation.
The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the CPC auditorium at City Hall. Click here for the full agenda.
MAY 24 Blogger Robert Mann posts this entry about the Baton Rouge Chamber's recent report on Louisiana's higher education system. It's critical to economic development, and yet our system is facing a "funding crisis" with no way to resolve it, the report says. The Chamber says control of tuition and fees must be returned to the higher ed governing boards.
MAY 24 Here's a NBC33 story about Tyrann Mathieu. He has signed with the Arizona Cardinals, inking a $3 million, four-year deal. He gets a signing bonus of $265K, but gets another, larger bonus if he doesn't get cut from the team for doing drugs. The deal reportedly includes mandatory tests and meetings for the player.
MAY 24 Jarvis DeBerry posts here about the redonkulus rhetoric that would have us believe NOLA is a safe city with a murder problem. Maybe the city's crime stats don't compare with its murder stats because you can't manipulate a murder, he says: a dead body's a dead body. It just doesn't make sense, he says, and his readers agree: a poll asks if they believe the city is safe, and more than 90 percent say no.
MAY 24 Jindal administration officials announced Thursday that the privatization of public health care is going to cost a lot more than they budgeted for, the Advocate reports here. "I'm so surprised," said no one. Anywhere. The cost they're projecting now is more than $1 billion - a lot more than the $626 million budgeted for it. And, it's more than it cost the state to operate those hospitals. So why are we doing this again?
MAY 24 Blogger CB Forgotston ridicules the recent PR campaign by the state GOP in the wake of a legislative auditor's request to both major parties. The GOP (apparently unaware that the Dems got the same request) started yammering about being targeted because it had "killed" a tax increase. CB finds that laughable, but it's also pretty funny that the GOP was comparing this episode to the IRS scandal (Because the President has so much to do with our state auditor. Right?).
MAY 24 Politico details some recent fund-raising efforts by Sen. David Vitter, which have raised the question of his future political plans. This time, it is a $5,000 per head "bayou weekend" that includes "Cajun cooking" and an all-caps "alligator hunt," the story reports. Funds raised go to a super PAC that can spend money to support Vitter in federal or state races, the story points out.
MAY 24 The pink building on Royal in the quarter was sold at a sheriff's sale Thursday, this Picayune story reports. An injunction that would have halted the sale wasn't enforced because the family failed to post a $150,000 bond, the story reports. So the owner of the mortgages on the building bought it, for nearly $7 million. Now the feuding family will have to negotiate with that company to get a lease on the building that has housed their business for close to 60 years.
MAY 23 This post in Louisiana Voice tells us about a bill by a Winnsboro lege that would require all public high school students to take at least one Course Choice online class in order to graduate. (What?) Blogger Tom Aswell says it's a monument to "waste and corruption," especially in light of the problems he's exposed with the program in recent weeks. Idaho had a similar program, but voters removed it by a 2-1 margin, Aswell says.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.