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Short-term rentals could be causing big property tax increases in New Orleans

"It's incredibly disturbing what's happening in Treme."

For some, the cost of living in Orleans Parish is going up.

Property assessments have raised property values, which can raise your property tax. Eyewitness News spoke with people in Treme, who have concerns.

Homeowners in New Orleans are bracing for substantially higher property taxes.

“It’s incredibly disturbing what’s happening in Treme," Ashley Robinson said.

Robinson says it's something that's effected everyone on her street.

“So last year I paid one rate, and this year it’s a full 100% higher," she said. "The remaining six neighbors on this block, yes, there are only six of us left, theirs have gone up 300-450% higher.”

Ask her why, and she has one answer.

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“I believe 45% of the homes here in Treme are AirBnBs or Short Term Houses," she said. “That’s a business, but technically that’s a residence. So now we’re comparing their property taxes to my property taxes.”

Done every four years, property assessments can raise, lower or maintain the value of a home, which changes the tax you pay on it.

“Square footage of living area, type of construction and condition," said Orleans Parish Assessor, Erroll Williams said. "We go and look at just about every property in the city to determine what the condition is and they grade it based upon good, fair, poor.”

RELATED: Bid to rework Louisiana property tax break falls short

The neighborhood is also looked at, which means rentals can have an impact. However, it gets complicated.

“Every other state, apartment complexes are treated as commercial property which would be because they’re renting it out," Williams said. "In Louisiana it’s treated as residential property. So, if I treated Short Term Rentals as commercial portion, I would have to know from the city what portion of the house they’re leasing out. And when the city grants these permits, they're not necessarily giving us the square footage that's allocated to that.”

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However, homeowners like Robinson would like to see that change, because she says it'd be fair for all, especially for those who call New Orleans home.

"You cannot compare a commercial property to a residential property," she said. "They don't have the same tax structure."

If you think your assessment is incorrect, you have the right to appeal. You can do it online or in person at City Hall. 

More information can be found here.

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