The Ascension Parish Assessor’s Office and Assessor Mert Smiley received a second nomination for the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award from the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO). In 2015, Assessor Smiley became the first and only assessor’s office in Louisiana to ever win this prestigious international award. Recipients of the award are considered a model assessment system and a contributing factor to equity in property taxation in their jurisdiction.

“A second nomination for the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction is an honor within itself and I’m very proud of our well-trained staff who made this nomination possible,” said Assessor Mert Smiley.

This second nomination was based on the implementation of the Assessor’s Office Flood Damage Reassessment Program created and utilized in the reassessment of more than 6,000 flood damaged properties after the Great Flood of 2016. The Program provided tax relief for those who needed it most while keeping the regular tax cycle on schedule for the local taxing bodies. All work was accomplished within the confines of the Assessor’s annual budget without receiving any state or federal assistance.

“Though we would prefer to never go through a disaster reassessment again, we are confident in the effectiveness of the results of our program. It generated fairness in the assessment valuation of the disaster related properties. Equity in property taxation cannot be assured if assessments are not based upon what your property is worth,” said Assessor Mert Smiley.

Sixty-six percent of the flood damaged properties renovations have been completed and put back on the tax roll. The annual open book period starts August 15th and continues through August 29 th . Any questions can be discussed during this time.

IAAO is the leading nonprofit, educational and research association for individuals in the assessment profession and others with an interest in property valuation and taxation. The association’s mission is to promote innovation and excellence in property appraisal, assessment administration and property tax policy through professional development, education, research and technical assistance. IAAO was founded in 1934 and currently serves more than 7,000 members worldwide.

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