Good news emerged yesterday for residents of Louisiana with Chinese drywall. The State Tax Commission is allowing those slammed with the plight of owning homes with the defective wallboard to have their assessments reduced to reflect their degraded value. While some had worried before that the property tax assessments would be based on what the homes should be worth, the state is offering reprieve that could mean thousands of dollars in savings for people who truly need it in the wake of this imported problem.
“These people are going to have to disclose to a new purchaser even if it’s fixed,” said St. Tammany Assessor Patricia Core. “Even if the drywall is completely replaced, this home had Chinese drywall, and it’s going to be very difficult for them to sell their house even after it’s repaired.”
Core took that message to the State Tax Commission, asking them for permission to reduce assessments on affected homes.
“We’ve got to do something,” Core said, “and the only thing we can do for them in the Assessor’s Office is to help them with the property taxes because it is definitely justified.”
Core said affected homeowners only need to show proof that the there is Chinese drywall in their house. She said a letter from a contractor would suffice.
The assessed value of a home is the land, plus the improvements. Core said, on affected homes, she’ll reduce the improvements 90 percent.
This is an extremely positive development that falls in line with actions taken by other Gulf Coast governments and will hopefully continue developments in helping those stuck with this toxic wallboard.