Hundreds jam City Hall to challenge assessments

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 15 at 5:41 PM

WWLTV.com
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NEW ORLEANS -- Wednesday was the last day for Orleans Parish property owners to meet with the assessor's office to challenge their tax assessments. The process of waiting for hours on end challenged the patience of people who feel their assessments are unfair.

It was like a scene from a nightmare, the line of property owners waiting to contest their tax assessments snaked up and down the first floor of City Hall and continued on the 4th floor where the assessor has offices.

“This is cruel and inhumane. This is ridiculous. I mean what other business can treat people like this? Because it's the city government they get away with it. It's terrible, absolutely terrible,” said Earleen Boisdore, a property owner.

The wait to actually get to the assessor's office stretched for hours. Michael Printy said he got there about 5 hours before we talked to him.

“I would say there was probably about 80 people ahead of me already,” said Printy. “And that was at 6 o’clock. The first guy got here about 4 o’clock in the morning.”

Printy said it was almost a riot at one point as property owners waited for assessor's office employees get here.

“People started raising their voices, screaming. Where is everybody at? They need to get in here. We've been in here waiting. Where they heck are they? What time did they arrive? I believe they arrived around 9 o’clock.”

“You gotta laugh to stop from crying,” said Ethan Crawford.

Adam Krob said he waited for nine hours Tuesday, then he was given a ticket and told to come back Wednesday. Krob said he was relieved after meeting with the assessor.

“And they did make a correction to an error that was in their database. They had my property listed at the wrong number of square footage,” said Krob.

Everyone has advice for improving this mess -- at very least extend this process from two weeks to a month or two.

“This is just cramming way too many people into such a short period of time,” said Jolie Monteverde.

Assessor Erroll Williams and his staff met with property owners until 9 p.m. Tuesday. He has pointed out that Louisiana law limits the current process to two weeks. He said he would like to see that changed to give people more time.

If you're still not happy after meeting with the assessor, you have until Monday to file an appeal with the Orleans Parish Board of Review.

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