FAQ

NOTICE: The answers and explanations to “Frequently Asked Questions” are general in nature and are not designed or intended to be interpreted or construed in any manner as to be legal advice, a legal opinion, legally correct or reflect the actual rights or obligations of property owners, Caddo Parish or their authorized representatives. For specific information of obligations or rights related to property taxes please refer to the appropriate laws of the United States of America and the State of Louisiana as well as seek the legal advice of an attorney.

Does the Sheriff decide how much tax I owe?
Where do I pay my Taxes?
Who is responsible for the collection of property taxes?
How do I change the mailing address on my tax notice?
If I live in Shreveport does my tax notice from the Sheriff include any city taxes?
I purchased this property in May of this year, why did I not receive a tax notice in November?
How are my taxes calculated?
What is Homestead Exemption and how can I receive a homestead exemption on my property?
Why do I have to pay fire district fees?
When are property tax notices mailed and when do taxes become due?
When do taxes become delinquent and what are the penalties for late payment?
Do you accept the postmark on the envelope as evidence of the date paid?
Do you accept partial payment?
How can I find out if my account has any outstanding balances?
What happens if I pay the wrong tax account?
Are there any special instructions for mortgage companies or mortgage services?
What if I have a mortgage on my property and my mortgage company is collecting money each month and putting it into an escrow account to pay my tax and they have not paid it by December 31st or later, should I pay then to protect my property?
What happens if I do not pay my taxes?
What is a tax sale?
What happens to property if it is sold at tax sale and can I get my property back?
What happens to a property if it is not sold at Tax Sale?
Who can buy property at a Tax Sale and when is the tax sale?

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Does the Sheriff decide how much tax I owe?
Answer: The Sheriff does not decide how much property tax you owe. That decision is made by the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor. The Assessor’s Office is located in the Caddo Parish Courthouse, Room 102, but is not a part of the Sheriff’s Office.

Where do I pay my Taxes?
Answer: You may mail your tax payment to:
Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office
Attn: Property Tax Dept.
P.O. Box 20905
Shreveport, Louisiana 71120-0905
You may pay your taxes in person at:
Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office
Caddo Parish Courthouse, 1st Floor
501 Texas Street, Room 101
Shreveport, Louisiana 71101-5410
Monday - Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
(Expanded office hours during tax season)

Who is responsible for the collection of property taxes?
Answer: The Sheriff is responsible for the collection of Caddo Parish property taxes.

How do I change the mailing address on my tax notice?
Answer: The Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office should be contacted at (318) 226-6701 for all change of address information. The Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office normally requires the signature of the property owner or authorized agent before a change of address is made to any property tax account. Contact the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office at (318) 226-6701 for all change of address information.

If I live in the City of Shreveport does my tax notice from the Sheriff include any city taxes?
Answer: No. The City of Shreveport collects city taxes. The Sheriff collects only parish taxes. The phone number for the City of Shreveport tax collections is (318) 673-5500.

I purchased this property after January 1st of this year, why did I not receive a tax notice in November?
Answer: Property is assessed by the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office on January 1st each year. If you purchased property after January 1st, the property may remain in the prior owners name on the current year tax roll. As the new owner, you will be responsible for checking with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Tax Department or the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office to see if any taxes are owed on your property.

All taxes, interest, penalties or fees owed on a property tax account remain in effect until paid regardless of ownership. Also, the Caddo Parish Tax Collector does not pro-rate tax amounts owed between a buyer and seller of property in Caddo Parish. Any agreement related to property taxes between the buyer and seller is a private matter and has no affect on any taxes owed to Caddo Parish. Therefore, if taxes are owed and were not paid by the prior owner you are responsible for paying the entire tax bill even if you did not own the property the full year.

How are my taxes calculated?
Answer: Assessed values are determined by the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office. According to the Assessor, the amount of taxes owed is calculated by taking the assessed value of the property and subtracting the amount of homestead exemption if applicable. The result is then multiplied by the total millage applicable to the property as shown on your tax notice.

Millage is the percentage of value that is used in calculating taxes. A mill is defined as 1/10 of 1 percent and is multiplied by the assessed value after any exemptions have been subtracted to calculate the taxes. For example, if the tax rate is 150 mills and the assessed value is $10,000 with no exemptions, the taxes would be calculated as $10,000.00 x .150 = $1,500.00. If the same residence has homestead exemption the taxes would be $10,000.00 - $7,500.00 x .150 = $375.00 in taxes. Millages are voted on and approved by the public. If you have further questions as to how the assessed values of your property were determined or wish to dispute the assessed values appearing on your tax notice contact the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office at (318) 226-6701.

What is Homestead Exemption and how can I receive a homestead exemption on my property?
Answer: Presently, the Louisiana Constitution allows for a homestead exemption of $75,000.00. The homestead exemption negates the parish property taxes due on the first $75,000.00 of market value or $7,500.00 of assessed value. Homestead Exemption applies to only one home and the homestead exemption does not apply to taxes levied by any of the cities, towns or villages located in Caddo Parish. The homestead exemption also does not apply to Fire District Fees. To be eligible for homestead exemption, the property must be your primary residence and you must be a resident of Caddo Parish. To receive homestead exemption on your primary residence you must file a homestead application with the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor. To file for Homestead Exemption, contact the Tax Assessor’s Office at (318) 226-6701.

Why do I have to pay fire district fees?
Answer: Fire protection and emergency services for properties and citizens outside the City of Shreveport are provided by nine Caddo Parish Fire Districts. Fire District fees help fund fire protection and emergency services in your area. They are determined by your fire district and are voted on by the citizens in that district. Fire protection and emergency services inside the city are provided by the Shreveport Fire Department and are funded by city taxes paid by Shreveport residents.

When do taxes become due and when are property tax notices mailed?
Answer: By law the tax assessor is to provide the tax roll to the tax collector by November 15th each calendar year. Taxes assessed shall be due in same calendar year as soon as the tax roll is delivered to the tax collector, and they shall be paid on or before December thirty-first in each respective year.

Tax notices are generally mailed out the last week of November each year.

When do taxes become delinquent and what are the penalties for late payment?
Answer: By law current year taxes become delinquent after December 31st each year if the taxes are not fully paid. The law imposes delinquency interest at a rate of 1% per month and provides for a collection fee of 10% on the total of the delinquent as valorem taxes and interest. Taxes fully paid by January 31st accrue delinquency interest at a rate of one percent (1%).

Taxes not fully paid by January 31st accrue delinquency interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month and a ten percent (10%) collection fee. Taxes not fully paid by February 15th shall accrue delinquency interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month, a ten percent (10%) collection fee and any additional costs of delinquent tax notices and newspaper advertisement costs.

Notice: Personal and business checks will only be accepted for the payment of taxes from the date taxes become due until the close of business on the last day of February each tax year unless the payment was mailed on the last day of the month and has been properly postmarked by the United States Postal Service. Personal or Business checks are not accepted for tax payments after the close of business on the last day of February due to Louisiana State laws governing the timing of Tax Sales and Tax Sale Advertisements
 

Do you accept the postmark on the envelope as evidence of the date paid?
Answer: Yes, the date postmarked will be used to determine the date of payment provided the envelope has actually been postmarked and cancelled by the United States Postal Service and not merely run through a meter machine by a private business. There must be evidence of actual mailing or the decision to accept the postmark will be at the discretion of the Caddo Parish Tax Collector.

Do you accept partial payment?
Answer: Yes, you may make partial payments on property tax accounts from the date taxes become due up to the date of the annual Tax Sale each tax year. However, unpaid balances will accrue interest, penalties and costs until paid and the property will be sold at the annual Tax Sale to satisfy the remaining balance of taxes owed.

NOTICE: All properties with unpaid tax amounts owed will be offered and sold at a public auction to satisfy the tax debt. Any acceptance of payment from a tax debtor that is less than the tax amount owed does not bind the tax collector to withhold offering the property for sale for the unpaid tax balance owed and does not relieve the tax debtor from any legal obligation to pay the tax debt.

Properties sold at Tax Sale for unpaid tax balances owed can be redeemed by paying the original tax assessment amount, interest penalty in the amount of one percent (1%) per month from the date the tax became delinquent until the date of the tax sale, advertisement costs, costs of certified notices, an eighty dollar cost to process and record the sale, a five percent (5%) penalty, interest due to the tax buyer in the amount of one percent (1%) per month from the date of sale to the date of redemption, any city or municipal taxes that we paid by the tax buyer in addition to the Caddo Parish taxes and an eighty dollar cost to process and record the redemption.

How can I find out if my account has any outstanding balances?
Answer: Call the Caddo Parish Tax Office at (318) 681-0638 or click here to check taxes online.

What happens if I pay the wrong tax account?
Answer: Tax payments will only be posted to the property tax account that the taxpayer provides. Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Tax Department personnel are prohibited from looking up property tax account numbers. Before remitting payment, be certain that the property tax account number you provide is correct because once the payment is posted the transaction is final and will not be reversed or refunded if the payment is for the wrong property account unless an error in posting has been made by Caddo Parish Tax Department personnel. Tax Payments are posted by the Property Tax Account Number assigned by the Caddo Parish Tax Assessor’s Office. It is the responsibility of each property owner to know their property tax account number and to provide this number to Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Tax Department personnel when remitting payment. The Property account number must be provided on a printed or written document or on a tax notice issued by the Sheriff’s Office. If you do not know your property tax account number you can obtain the property tax account number from the Tax Assessor’s Office.

Are there any special instructions for mortgage companies or mortgage services?
Answer: If you are a mortgage company requesting tax notices, please make your request before the last day of October. We accept tax payments postmarked with a December 31st date, but we request mortgage companies to pay by December 20th in an effort to facilitate a timely collection cycle.

What if I have a mortgage on my property and my mortgage company is collecting money each month and putting it into an escrow account to pay my tax and they have not paid it by December 31st. Do I need to pay the tax before contacting my mortgage company in order to protect my property?
Answer: It is recommended that you contact your mortgage company and ask why they have not paid the tax before you make a payment. The Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office accepts and posts the first payment we receive. If you pay first and the mortgage company later mails us payment for your tax account we will have to send the mortgage company their money back. Then you will have to get your money back from the mortgage company which in many instances is very difficult. If this situation occurs, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office will not reverse this transaction and will not refund the payment to you.

What happens if I do not pay my property taxes?
Answer: The property will be sold at a Tax Sale to satisfy the tax debt.

What is a Tax Sale? What happens to a property if it is sold at Tax Sale and can I get my property back?
Answer: A Tax Sale is a public auction conducted annually by the Sheriff wherein properties with unpaid taxes are sold to satisfy the tax debt. By State law the Sheriff must conduct the tax sale to collect the balance of the current year taxes owed to Caddo Parish governmental entities. Click here for a graph depicting the average distribution of tax funds. The Tax Sale is conducted annually at the Caddo Parish Courthouse normally during the third week of May.

During a Tax Sale, immovable property is sold to individuals who participate in the tax sale for the amount of the unpaid balance of taxes owed, accrued interest, penalties and cost to advertise and record the sale. Individuals who participate in the Tax Sale are referred to as Tax Buyers. The property is sold to the Tax Buyer who bids the least ownership interest in the property and will pay the full amount of the unpaid taxes.

The sale is actually conducted by the reading of the legal description of the property, the amount of taxes owed and the name of the property owner from the list of delinquent tax accounts advertised in the newspaper that was adopted by the Caddo Parish Commission as the “Official Journal for the Parish”. After a property is read, the bidding begins at one hundred percent interest in the property and continues until the lowest percentage of interest is reached.

After purchasing a property at the Tax Sale, the Tax Sale Buyer receives a Tax Sale Certificate (Tax Deed) from the Sheriff which transfers certain ownership rights and interest in the property, subject to the redemption rights of the original owner. The Tax Buyer also acquires the tax assessment rights of the original owner. The Tax Assessor’s Office is required to change the name and address on the property tax account and will continue to assess the property in the Tax Buyers name until the property is redeemed by the original owner, the Tax Buyer files suit to quiet the title to property in favor of the buyer, or the Tax Buyer fails to pay taxes in the future and the property is sold at a future tax sale.

The original owner of property sold at tax sale has three (3) years to “redeem” the property from the date the Tax Sale Certificate is recorded in the Clerk of Court’s Office. During the three year time period the property can be redeemed by contacting the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Tax Department and requesting a redemption amount. A redemption amount will be calculated and provided to the original owner. The redemption amount will include a redemption fee, a tax sale fee, interest due to the Tax Buyer, the base taxes and monthly interest. Upon payment of the redemption amount the Tax Buyer is reimbursed by the Sheriff and Certificate of Redemption is recorded in the Clerk of Court’s Office. A copy of the Certificate of Redemption is mailed to the original owner with a notice that the owner must re-file for Homestead Exemption. The Tax Assessor’s Office will then normally change the assessment of the property back into the original owner’s name and address.

NOTICE: This answer to “What is a Tax Sale” is an oversimplification of the process that actually takes place in a tax sale and the effect on ownership of property after it is sold. The explanation is general in nature and is not intended to be interpreted or construed in any manner to be a legal opinion, legal advice, legally correct or reflect the actual legal rights of property owners or tax buyers or their authorized representatives. For specific information related to immovable property and tax sales you should refer to the appropriate laws of the United States of America and State of Louisiana related to property ownership and tax sales as well as seek the legal advice of an attorney.

What happens to a property if it is not sold to a Tax Buyer at the Tax Sale?
Answer: Any unsold property is adjudicated (transferred) to Caddo Parish. The Parish acquires the tax assessment rights of the original owner as well as the assessment rights of the property. Under certain circumstances, the Parish may actually sell the property to a third party and the sale transfers all ownership rights in the property to the buyer.

NOTICE: This answer to “What happens to a property if it is not sold at the Tax Sale” is an oversimplification of the process that actually takes place in a tax sale and the effect on ownership of the property after it is adjudicated to Caddo Parish. The explanation is general in nature and is not intended to be interpreted or construed in any manner to be a legal opinion, legal advice, legally correct or reflect the actual legal rights of property owners, Caddo Parish or their authorized representatives.

For specific information related to immovable property and “adjudication” refer to the appropriate laws of the United States of America and State of Louisiana related to property ownership and “adjudication” as well as seek the legal advice of an attorney.

Who can buy property at a Tax Sale and when is the Tax Sale?
Answer: The Caddo Parish Tax Sale is a public auction and is open to all who wish to register and participate. To facilitate ease of participation in the tax sale process by more citizens the annual auction is conducted online by means of an electronic bidding process. This web based internet tax sale can be accessed by anyone with a computer and internet access. Citizens can browse available properties from their home, office, library, etc. without having to be physically present during the auction process. For citizens without a computer or internet access, computers will be made available for public use at the Caddo Parish Tax Department during normal business hours.

The online tax sale is conducted by Archon Information Systems, LLC. To register for the tax sale click on the link www.civicsource.com or type the address into your internet search browser. At the CivicSource auctioneer site click on the tab labeled “site guide” to access the electronic registration form.