As of May 2016, Louisiana’s average effective property tax rate of 0.48% was the third-lowest rate in the country. While Louisiana finds itself with some of the most favorable property taxes rates in the country and this is reason to celebrate for homeowners, the state's public education system takes the brunt of the lack of resources.

Parishes in Louisiana With Highest and Lowest Property Tax Rates

Louisiana utilizes parishes as county-equivalents, as the state was organized according to church parishes rather than government units. As of May 2016, the parish with the highest average effective property tax rate is St. Tammy. It has an effective rate of 0.82%. The second- and third-highest rates come from New Orleans and Cameron. These two parishes have levied average property tax rates of 0.71 and 0.62%, respectively. The parish of East Feliciana has the lowest average effective tax rate of 0.17%. The second- and third-lowest rates in Louisiana come out of Assumption and Avoyelles. These two parishes have average property tax rates of 0.2 and 0.23%, respectively.

The three parishes with the highest average effective property tax rates are also those the highest median annual property tax payment. The median property tax payment in St. Tammy is $1,587, while Orleans has a median tax payment of $1,297 and St. Charles has a median tax payment of $1,062. In 2016, there were 13 parishes that had median property tax payments equal to $200.

Louisiana’s Property Taxes Compared to the National Average

Louisiana’s assessed property taxes are among the most favorable in the United States. In fact, they are the lowest when analyzing a few metrics. Residents of Louisiana pay the lowest median property tax in the country with a median assessment of $243. An average of 0.45% of each individual’s income is paid towards property taxes, which is also lowest in the nation. Finally, Louisiana property taxes are an average of 0.18% of the property’s assessed value. This is the lowest ratio in the country.

Louisiana’s Property Taxes Compared to Neighboring States

The three states bordering Louisiana are Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas. As of 2016, Texas implemented an average effective property tax rate of 1.93%. This is the fifth-highest average rate in the country. Mississippi’s average effective property rate of 0.78% is 15th-lowest in the U.S. Finally, Arkansas has the lowest average effective rate among the states neighboring Louisiana. In fact, its average effective rate of 0.62% is tied for the eighth-lowest rate in the nation. Therefore, while the property taxes among the neighboring states are not consistent, two of the three neighbors to Louisiana are also within the top 15 most favorable property tax rates.

The Drawbacks From Louisiana’s Low Property Tax Rates

There are two major drawbacks from Louisiana’s low property tax rates that indicate the impact of having such low rates. First, Louisiana operates in a deficit and is collecting less money each year. In 2016, the projected deficit was $1.6 billion. In 2014, the state collected $10.3 billion in taxes and fees. These collections represented an 8% decrease from 2009. Simply put, Louisiana is not collecting enough revenue to support all state-funded programs.

Another major deficit of the low property tax rates is the public education school system. Louisiana is able to charge low property tax rates because of the deficiencies in spending regarding public education. This lack of revenue support for schools is clearly evident in student performance and facility maintenance. Students in Louisiana have the fourth-lowest math test scores in the nation and perform fourth-worst when it comes to reading. Public schools in Louisiana were ranked as the second-worst in the country in terms of safety, as they received safety ratings three times worse than the states with the safest schools. Louisiana doesn’t raise much revenue from property taxes, which means it can’t spend additional revenue on public education.

North Carolina Property Tax Guide

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