Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Hargrove elaborates on tax commission appointment
- 2013 - 845 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
- December 2008 - 146 articles
- November 2008 - 147 articles
- October 2008 - 232 articles
- September 2008 - 189 articles
- August 2008 - 126 articles
- July 2008 - 147 articles
- June 2008 - 111 articles
- May 2008 - 147 articles
- April 2008 - 141 articles
- March 2008 - 125 articles
- March 31st, 2008 (Monday) - 4 articles
- March 30th, 2008 (Sunday) - 2 articles
- March 29th, 2008 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- March 27th, 2008 (Thursday) - 1 articles
- March 26th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 29 articles
- March 25th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 3 articles
- March 24th, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- March 20th, 2008 (Thursday) - 8 articles
- March 19th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 11 articles
- March 18th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 13th, 2008 (Thursday) - 12 articles
- March 12th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 17 articles
- March 11th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 7th, 2008 (Friday) - 1 articles
- March 6th, 2008 (Thursday) - 13 articles
- March 5th, 2008 (Wednesday) - 15 articles
- March 4th, 2008 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- March 3rd, 2008 (Monday) - 1 articles
- February 2008 - 135 articles
- January 2008 - 111 articles
|Hargrove elaborates on tax commission appointment|
Paul Hargrove knows his appointment to the Louisiana Tax Commission, officially announced by Gov. Bobby Jindal Friday, comes with a lot of work, but he welcomes it.
Hargrove, a former Ouachita Parish police juror, spoke with The Ouachita Citizen Wednesday about his recent appointment. The Ouachita Citizen first reported Hargrove's appointment to the tax commission almost two weeks ago.
He participated in his first orientation meeting with other tax commissioners Tuesday in Baton Rouge. He expects the commission will meet on a weekly basis in Baton Rouge for most of the year. Hargrove suggested to other commissioners that they also hold meetings in various parts of the state, including Monroe and West Monroe, to allow the public to participate. He said the commissioners were receptive of his idea and expects sometime in 2008, meetings will be held in Monroe or West Monroe.
One of Hargrove's goals entails providing better technology - particularly in rural areas - for parish tax assessors. That technology would include computer-assisted mass appraisal systems.
"We have one in Ouachita, but Lincoln Parish has a Cadillac version, and with a few mouse clicks in Lincoln, overnight they can revalue and reappraise all of that property," said Hargrove. "In most parishes, you can't do that."
"I think the state can invest in that, and I think there's a strong business case that it would provide for more timely assessments," Hargrove continued. "It clearly would help in a year like this one, a reappraisal year, which is an incredible amount of work local assessors have to do. I would just like to see a better use of technology, and I think there's a way to do that by creating state appropriation into a special fund, and with a local match, you can participate and get your parish digitized."
The Lincoln Parish system also is used by other entities and is a valuable resource for an entire community, he said. For example, Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor Pam Jones allows the school board to use the system to develop bus routes.
"When they had the train derailment over in Lincoln, literally, with a click of the mouse, she was able to provide the emergency responders with a list of every structure within a mile of that derailment in seconds," Hargrove said. "And, they were able to ensure that those people were evacuated."
Law enforcement agencies also use information in Jones' database before they embark on drug raids. Real estate agents and economic developers use the data base, too, Hargrove said.
"I just think there's a big payback to deploy that technology," Hargrove said. "The payback is it ensures fair and accurate assessments, and everyone is being treated the same. That helps individual property owners, and it benefits business tax payers as well by ensuring everyone's playing by the same rules, and everyone's being evaluated the same way."
A majority of the issues that come before the tax commission include assisting parish assessors in various manners, representing taxpayers to ensure accurate, timely assessments and resolving any assessment disputes.
"There are a number of those (disputes) that are currently on the agenda of the tax commission," Hargrove said.
One of the major disputes involves the ongoing litigation among 37 parishes and several pipeline companies over their assessments and the ad valorem taxes owed to the parishes.
Out-of-state pipeline companies in 1994 filed suit against the Louisiana Tax Commission for what they said was unfair treatment.
In Ouachita Parish, there is about $1.6 million held in escrow on the pipeline companies' protested taxes. The taxes the companies pay to the state have been held in limbo since the litigation began.
The lawsuit contends that out-of-state pipelines that pass through Louisiana are treated unfairly because they are charged higher property taxes than in-state companies.
Out-of-state pipeline companies are assessed at 25 percent of their property's value. In-state pipelines are assessed at 15 percent.
Both parties previously indicated they wanted to settle the case to free the tax money.
"The big issue before the commission with the respect to pipeline companies is approaching 15 years now," Hargrove said. "And, there are millions of dollars that are held in escrow in parishes throughout the state, including Ouachita. That issue has been legislated, litigated, appealed to the tax commission, adjudicated, and now there needs to be some final resolution to resolve the issue in an appropriate way so we can move on.
"I think it will be interesting to see how much potentially can be freed if this issue is resolved by the tax commission in a timely way, and what does that mean, for example, to Mosquito Abatement's budget."
The pipeline matter will be one of the "early orders of business" for the tax commission, Hargrove said.
He said the commission could resolve the issue with the pipeline companies in the near future.
"We'll address that issue fairly soon, probably before the summer," Hargrove said.
The Louisiana Tax Commission administers and enforces all laws related to the state supervision of local property tax assessments and the assessment of public service properties. The commission also measures the level of appraisals or assessments and the degree of uniformity of assessments for each major class and type of property in each parish throughout the state. Members of the commission are appointed by the governor and are subject to senate confirmation.
Hargrove's tax commission district includes 24 parishes in north Louisiana.