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For the first and second quarters of 2022, the City of New Orleans Bureau of Treasury has issued 26 Revised Real Estate Tax Bills concerning residential properties that the OIG identified as having benefited from homestead exemptions and a senior freeze reduction, despite the listed homeowners reportedly being deceased. The Assessor’s Office has also removed the homestead exemptions and senior freeze reductions for these properties. According to the Bureau of Treasury, the City of New Orleans is due more than $187,000 in additional property tax revenue from these 26 properties.

The Homestead Exemption is a state exemption for residential property owners. A property owner may be exempt from a portion of property taxes if the owner is eligible for the Homestead Exemption. A domicile is one’s permanent owned residence. A person can have only one domicile. Every homeowner in Orleans Parish is able to claim exemption from property taxes for the first $75,000 of value of their domicile or the home they occupy as their primary residence.

The investigation into this matter was predicated on an email received from an anonymous complainant. The anonymous complainant reported that the homeowners of three residential properties; 2134 Milan Street New Orleans, LA 70115, 2425 Delachaise Street New Orleans, LA70115, and 4030 Vendome Place New Orleans, LA 70125 were deceased, but the current owners of the properties were still receiving a homestead exemption.

The New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) followed up on its March 2013 report on the City’s delinquent property tax collection program, which found that the City paid its collections contractor ten times the cost of collection services, and that the City failed to hold adjudicated property sales. The follow-up report found mixed results in meeting the recommendations of the original report.

The New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) audited the internal controls of the post-audit processes of the Bureau of Revenue’s Compliance Division from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012. Auditors tested the internal controls over the Compliance Division’s sales tax collection and enforcement processes and evaluated the Bureau’s compliance with the controls.

The New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) evaluated the City of New Orleans delinquent property tax collection program to determine if the program complied with applicable laws and city policies and if it operated efficiently and effectively. The scope of the evaluation included the collection of property taxes for real, non-movable property for the 2010 tax year from April 1, when delinquent taxes were referred to the collections contractor, to the fall of 2011, when the City held its tax title sale.
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