Reprinted from Tax Notes State, April 27, 2020, p. 537

“Through multiple proclamations, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) ordered that nonessential businesses close their doors or limit their operations, including restaurants, hotels, casinos, retail shops, barbershops, and beauty salons, as well as places of amusement such as concert halls and movie theaters. For many businesses, it is uncertain when they will be able to reopen and return to normal operations. One consequence of the ongoing disruption of business and ominous market conditions is the related decrease in the value of property used to operate these businesses.

Under Louisiana law, “[a]ssessments shall be made on the basis of the condition of things existing on the first day of January of each year.” In Orleans Parish, the status of property as of August 1 of each tax year is determinative of the fair market value of property for tax purposes. As such, the assessed value of property for tax year 2020 will likely be overstated since the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic occurred after January 1, 2020. Fortunately, Louisiana law may already provide some relief to affected taxpayers for the 2020 tax year.

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