Caddo Assessors Office for Dummies

I posted this in a disscusion earlier and thought it informative. Please feel free to comment, I will update, add or correct any information as time goes on.

The driving and time aside, I personally believe every landowner should have a copy of the assessors plat for land they own. You can make your trip even more worthwhile by checking to see what they have assesed you for. You can challange your assessment if you feel its too high and many times they will knock a little off just to get you out of the office. Come with a list of reasons of why you should be assessed lower, leaky plumbing, old roof, old water heater, etc....

I will speak of the caddo assessor, but most are set up in a simular manner.

To find your plat, you need to know if you are inside the city (shreveport) or out.

Depending on which one you are will determine what set of books you look in. The staff will show which ones are which. The books are by Township-Range-Section-Subdivision

For example, If you have land in section 30-T16N-13W, you are in the book that includes tract 161330.

Find the main page for your section. This will show all tracts or subdivisions in your section.

The charge for the section plat varies depending on what size you want (letter to 11x17), but is only a dollar or two.

If your land is in a subdivision, there will be a seperate page for that subdivision. The subdivision page will have the lots drawn out and maybe even have the surveyors bearings and acreage. In any case the plats are fairly presise. The same costs apply for copies.

If you get confused or can't find it, ask for help, thats why the staff is there, to help the general public.

Depending on your know how, it should only take a few minutes to find it. The staff makes the copies, usually on the spot, but it depends on how crowded it is. While your there, get the assessment info on your tract, only $0.50

If you know your s-t-r you are in good shape, if not you will need to ask, the staff can look you up by address or name.

They have computers for the general public, but they are a pain to use.

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Comment by sesport on May 27, 2009 at 21:24
Thanks Baron & Parker. The survey that I have was done by an independent professional when I bought the property.
Best - sesport :0)
Comment by Joel on May 27, 2009 at 10:25
Sesport, you have an interesting situation. When you buy property what the transaction is supposed to do is grant you title what the seller offered, and the documentation on what they offered is in the purchase contract (lot xyz of a subdivision, or a description of the boundaries, etc.)

Assuming you had a survey done when you bought it, and assuming your transaction included title insurance for the you, the purchaser, my guess is that the survey plus your title insurance coverage would mean that you either own what the survey said the description in the purchase agreement meant, or the title insurance company will make you whole.

Anyone could make a mistake - your surveyor, the assessor's office. The comments by parker and The Baron are good advice.

If they have been assessing you and making you pay taxes on land that isn't yours, then you should indeed contact them to get that addressed. On the other hand, if you believe the assessor thinks you have less than you think you do, consider whether that is truly a problem worthy of your time and effort to resolve..... :)

Best,

Joel
Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on May 26, 2009 at 21:09
Sesport,
The tax assessor's job is to assess the value of your property FOR TAX PURPOSES ONLY. In general, they are the best place to START to find out information about a piece of property. However, they are no substitute for professionals. A surveyor is the professional that can tell you the area of your property. Just as their ownership maps and assessments are no substitutes for a Title Opinion from an Attorney. I know of instances where tracts of land were assesses that didn’t exist. The Assessor’s office is just the place to start, not the final word on anything (except your valuation for property taxes). Though, for the most part, their information is accurate.
Comment by The_Baron on May 26, 2009 at 9:43
I would take the survey first. The surveyor would have used the assessors info, as well any previous property descriptions. If the survey was included with the paperwork recorded in the conveyance records, the assessors office will review it when they worked your deed.
Comment by Bobi Carr ("parker") on May 24, 2009 at 1:13
Thanks Baron,

I haven't been to Caddo in a few years, but your recomendations are very well written.
Comment by sesport on May 22, 2009 at 22:25
Baron - I also have a survey that was done when I bought, came with my mortgage paperwork. Which one trumps ... assessor's or mine?

Thanks - sesport :0)

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