ST. TAMMANY, La. -- In St. Tammany Parish, the deadline for tax assessment appeals is Friday, but some people say they were never told the process started.
People like Lisa Harris, who sat down last week to research the tax rolls for customers of her title business, but instead stumbled upon new tax assessments from Patricia Schwartz Core’s office that she never heard were available.
Harris got the official notice in the mail Wednesday, a few days before the deadline to appeal.
“These notifications are coming out extremely late and it doesn't state that you only have until the 15th to fight it," Harris said.
To make matters worse, what Harris found was both assessments for her home in Covington and her Slidell business were much higher than last year.
"Some have gone down, but most have risen, especially commercial buildings,“ she said. “Ours has doubled this year."
Harris, and others like her, are trying to spread the word fast because they know many were in Isaac recovery mode when the assessment process began.
The assessor's office said people shouldn't be surprised because this is a reassessment year. Plus, Core feels she has gone above and beyond to make the process clear.
“Well before the rolls opened, in the middle of August, she put advertisements in the Farmers, the Times Picayune and the St. Tammany News," said James Hartman, a spokesman for the assessor. "Then of course the press release was issued right before Hurricane Isaac made landfall."
And letters are now making their way to mailboxes across the parish. Another message the assessor has passed along is that she’s offering breaks for Isaac victims.
"She's made it known that people can appeal their assessments if their property sustained actual loss of value during the storm," said Hartman.
The assessor’s office says it will take appeal applications after the Friday deadline. You can review your assessment at the Slidell and Covington offices, or online.
Patricia Schwartz Core’s term is over at the end of the year, when former Abita Springs Mayor Louis Fitzmorris takes over.