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Taxing questions 

Orleans assessor rolls open early, longer this year

  New Orleans property owners will have a month — starting this week — to meet with city Assessor Erroll Williams if they want to discuss their proposed 2014 property assessments. Under a new state law passed during the 2013 legislative session, Orleans Parish rolls open early — on July 15 instead of Aug. 1 — for inspection by property owners. The rolls close on Aug. 15. Appeals may be made to the Board of Review until Aug. 20.

  The law was passed in response to citizen complaints that two weeks did not afford local property owners enough opportunity to meet with the assessor to discuss revised property values. Williams sought the statutory change after thousands of property owners waited for hours in long lines to contest his revised assessments last year — and many complained about the relatively short window of opportunity to meet with him.

  Starting this Monday (July 15), property owners can visit Williams' office on the fourth floor of City Hall (1300 Perdido St.), or in the Algiers Courthouse (225 Morgan St.). Starting next Monday, July 22, property owners may also visit the Lakeview Christian Center (5885 Fleur De Lis Drive). These locations will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary.

  Williams' office stated in a press release that property owners will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis at all locations.

  According to the press release, individuals who want to contest an assessment must bring their assessment letter and documentation to support their claim. Such documentation includes recent appraisals, builders' contracts, photos or insurance data on the property. — Clancy DuBos

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