Assessor’s Office Update with Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor

Jeff Taylor – Livingston Parish Assessor

Local Leaders the Podcast host Jim Chapman sits down with Assessor Jeff Taylor for an update on the Assessors office. Discussed topics include some much-needed relief in the way of discounts for the Hurricane Ida affected parish as well as information on a software breach and what the assessors office is doing to stay ahead in the way of software as well as many more topics. Another great episode of Local Leaders: The Podcast!

Transcript (Beta)

hi folks i want to tell you about denim springs fit body boot camp in their 28 days 77 jump start program there’s no strings attached and really no reason not to try you can be in and out in just 30 minutes and best of all these 30-minute sessions are scheduled throughout the mornings and evenings to fit your busy schedule these 30-minute sessions are fun positive encouraging and you can even sign up online just visit denim springs fit body boot camp a proud sponsor of local leaders the podcast hey everyone and welcome to another edition of local leaders the podcast i am jim chapman and you’re going to recognize the guy across from me he’s been on the show before he is our assessor here in livingston parish jeff taylor welcome thank you jim thanks for having me again we are glad to have you on and today we’re going to cover a lot of things with regard to i guess post storm assessor related discounts things like that uh but before we get into all that i want to talk about your hair a little bit okay last time we talked you were growing your hair out for charity i’m growing it out for uh saint jude yes i was asked by a couple guys to to do it we was at graystone one night and they asked me and told them no at first and then the more i talked to people and then people that have uh cancer and have lost their hair yeah i decided you know i might do this yeah and um went through that awkward stage the first five six seven months where it was just awful it’s not great now but it was just absolutely awful yeah and so it finally got to where i could pull it back and pull it off my face and so it’s not as bad now yeah but i’m actually enjoying the ponytail a lot of people don’t yeah but i’m actually enjoying my wife hates it my mom and my daughter love it so i will decide what we’re going to do but in april i’m going to cut it and donate it to one of the organizations to make a wig and then the money that i raised is going to go to saint jude wow that’s a beautiful thing and a beautiful charity st jude is uh you know for the people out there that may have uh been to memphis i’ve actually toured their facility there and it is a beautiful uh facility that you see right where that money’s going right every bit of it goes there yes and um uh monroe lockhart and then uh van pran out in uh um holden pam vampire and her son had uh cancer also and so i decided to do it for those two but it has expanded to many many many many more yeah we hear about those two a lot yeah but there’s many people that have visited um st jude and so i dedicated it to those two the vamp family and then the lockharts yeah but uh it’s for everybody awesome awesome and you’ve been doing it now about a year and a half you’ve been growing that hair out and you’ve got about another half year left i’ve got seven months seven months and my wife is marking it off the calendar every day she’s writing you know strangely enough jeff no one has asked me to grow my hair out go figure you know the thing uh the more people that i run into and you really don’t realize the impact of it until you run into somebody i had a few of my friends that have had cancer yes and they’ve lost their hair yeah and you’re doing it for a certain deal but then they tell you said you have no idea what it’s like when you get a new wig yeah all of a sudden you go to walmart or to church and people are not just staring at you yes they said it gives you a new lease on life so over the last 14 15 16 months i’ve had a real education and feelings yeah that way yeah so it has affected the way that i’m looking at it and i i don’t know if this is going to be the only time i’ve ever got to do this yeah because of the impact of that so we’ll see it’s really a huge commitment and it doesn’t seem like much but man two years of growing your hair out is is a commitment and a half in my opinion and you’re right i mean women uh especially identify themselves with their hair and and when they have cancer and they’re going through chemo and they lose their hair what a beautiful way to give them some confidence back and forth and some normalcy i would imagine my wife says we don’t have any gel any hairspray it takes me longer to get ready now than it has her to go out to dinner and so i have to start an hour early now yeah i’m glad i ain’t gonna do that well thank you for that and uh what a great commitment you’re doing there for st jude uh let’s get into uh some of the discounts reductions and all those sorts of things you do with the assessor’s office especially in times of disaster and we’ll start with the flood discounts uh people are still you know working on the flood at their house some people and and uh there are some discounts that are in place tell us about those well the flood hit us in 2016. and about that it hit us in august of 2016. about october of 2016 a lot of people had forgotten about the flood yeah we’re not a part of it yes the problem with it is is a lot of people are still in 2021 still repairing their homes because of no insurance or whatever factor yeah so my job is not to do anything with your taxes yeah a lot of people think it is my job is only to put a value on your property i assess the value of your property sheriff collects the taxes the sheriff collects the taxes the districts are the ones that voted your school board your sheriff’s office your fire departments your drainage that’s the ones that tax you yeah all i do is value it yeah so when we have a disaster like that and i’ve got a 100 value on your home and you’ve been damaged i then have to reassess that and put a new value on it and in doing that it is going to lower the revenue for the districts sure but it has to be done yeah so we had the flood discount so anybody that’s still working on their home you need to call me i don’t care if it’s ten thousand dollars yeah ten thousand dollars of assessment goes back into your pocket yes instead of going to the districts let me tell you what government is i’ve said this for 21 years now government is like if you grew up in the country yeah government is like a hog yeah it does not matter how much food you put in that trough that hog is going to continue to eat a hog will eat itself to death yeah it will eat so much that it’ll fall over dead yeah that’s what government would do it just keeps eating the more you fueled it so we’ve got to learn to live within our means 100 and in this i told the districts back in 2016 you need to start putting money aside because if we have another disaster we’re not going to do the 20 25 20 and 20. we’re going to give a true value yeah of what their damage is yeah some of those have already started calling me and saying we don’t know if we can take the cut well we’re going to find out if you can because i am going to side with the people and they’re going to get the districts the people that got hit with that flood that they’re still doing they can get full value yeah yeah and you know when you run when you it’s similar to running a business you always want to have some expenses to the side in the event of a disaster you lose electricity for 10 days you know maybe you have some money to decide to cover though that lost revenue same thing same advice you gave it was it was just the district so good advice and what assessor taylor is saying is if you have some damage give them a call uh you know take some pictures maybe and and that will probably help and and get with the assessor’s office and they’ll see what they can do to help you yeah call us don’t don’t don’t hesitate yeah all through this covert deal we never closed we’re open there’s somebody answering phones we can get there to you and we want to inspect your property you got to realize we don’t go inside homes unless we’re invited we do all of our stuff outside the home yeah so if you fixed up everything outside your home and we’re driving by it looks great to us yeah but you may still be on concrete floors that are not finished you might you may have walls that are still cut up you wouldn’t believe the number of people that still have walls cut up two feet yeah that they haven’t been able to go in there no insulation the paint has been done or they got cracks in it you know yeah so we don’t know that yeah so please give us a call we want you to get your true value of what your assessment should be very good there is nothing in this that says that i want to go high yeah it don’t make any sense for me to go high right we want to give you your value very good very good uh and of course now we’re dealing with ida who uh hurricane ida just just reared its ugly head and passed us by and left a lot of damage and i’m sure some people are out there with damage to their home from ida what type of reductions are you planning for item well in the flood we gave a 20 25 20 and 20. if you remember over the four years this one is going to get the value yeah if you come in there and your value to your estimate to replace your uh home or get it back in order is a hundred thousand you’re gonna get a hundred thousand off we’re gonna give you the value um i’ve got people that went through the flood in my subdivision yeah that had trees on their home wow they just got through my neighbor across the street just literally last year got through repairing her home from the flood and now she’s got trees all over the back of her house not in the yard on her house wow so she’s now having to start all over again look that’s very trying that that will that will um that would that’ll break the strongest that’ll break your journals that it will and so we when i talk to the districts i’ve told them whatever people come in we’re going to inspect it and we’re going to put it on our uh our numbers yeah and whatever that number comes up to be that’s what we’re doing yeah we’re going to give it to them yeah and

see if you’ve got enough money to make it through yeah the people are going to get it because they’ve been through a lot the people this pair has been through a lot and and they need to get their discounts absolutely and of course uh there was a coveted discount that had kicked in at one point tell us about that and and if it’s still existing and yeah cove it’s still going you know it started last year we gave it 10 i was the only assessor that gave a 10 to both residential and commercial i gave 10 percent you got 10 percent across the board yeah now it’s important that people understand that if you’ve got a flood discount a kova discount i had a discount you’re not getting all three of them you’re gonna get the one that is the most yeah whichever one comes in best for you if the flood discount comes out higher you’re going to get that if the coven one comes out higher you’re going to get that yeah if the ida comes out higher you’re going to get that right so that’s only fair i can’t can’t go through there and add them all three together and give you 80 percent pay you money back yeah by the time we get through with everything so we’re going to uh be working on that we talked a few minutes ago that you know the the parish workers and the sheriff’s office and everything they’ve been working real hard yeah over this last three weeks four weeks been working real hard as their work winds down ours really picks up yeah so we were able to assist them for this last four weeks yeah with whatever needed to be done cooking getting supplies keeping our office open we were the only office for a while that internet so they were actually coming over to our office and using our internet yeah so we were able to do some of that but now as their work is winding down we know in the office of the assessor’s office the next four months is going to be just absolutely unreal yeah because we’re going to have to go all over this place looking to see what kind of damage we’ve got and making sure that you know we’re going to verify it yes you you hate to say that but you’ve got to verify it because there’s going to be people that are going to call me sure they got 300 000 worth of damage you’re going to get there and they lost a shingle yeah there’s going to be some people that’s going to tell me they got about four thousand dollars worth of damage you can get there in a roof cone yeah yeah there’ll be some people that are underestimated they’re going to underestimate sure so we’re going to verify it for them yeah very good and and interesting in that a lot of ways that you can verify damage now

you’re not just driving out there and and going to each individual although there was a time where that you know you had to do that but you have a pretty amazing uh flyover mapping system that that you can do that you can actually see that damage from the sky right oh yeah we’ve got a mapping system uh jim we’re about to um create a full-blown livingston parish mapping system yeah we’ve got it through the assessor’s office now but we’re going to have our own department we’ve got a in the back of our building that we’ve just built there’s an area we’re going to put the mapping department there where people can come in there and get all their maps they’re not going to have to just go through the front door they’re going to be able to get there yeah but one of the things that our mapping system has done is that we’ve been able to add pictures of all the houses in the parish and then we do flyovers yeah and those flyovers come in and we can lay them over every two years they do a flyover yeah and so we can lay it over the top of the one and we can see what’s the new construction an added benefit of that is as i can now take and lay that one down from two years ago and i can lay ida over across it and i can see what the damage is wow so we can do a lot of the assessment from the air yeah now the ones that we can’t we’ll obviously have to go out there and drive sure but it’s so much easier if i got three or four guys that are sitting there just looking at it as a flyover you’re missing a roof you got substantial damage yeah if you’re missing this so we’re going to be able to see a lot of that from the air they’re already there they’re 40 something percent finished with the flyover in the parish they would have been finished already but the weather yeah the timing turned around it rains yeah cloudy so it’s good point real close yeah very good and and the time that that saves is just uh phenomenal i mean you’re you’re probably talking months and months of people don’t want to see right you don’t want to see an assessor’s vehicle driving them down the street yeah first of all you’re in the way yeah that’s the first uh you know the sheriff’s department of paris they’re trying to get things cleaned up yeah and so if you’re in there trying to do all that you’re just in the way yeah so we’re gonna have a way to be able to do this and then when they get everything cleaned up then we can start doing all the work that’s necessary and right now we can do support and then we’ll they’ll be giving us support yeah and and speaking of work and things like that you know the assessor’s office which incidentally uh congratulations you are the 2021 assessor of the year uh uh you know statewide that’s a that’s a huge thing uh you got a little bit of experience in the in the assessor world with 21 years now that you’ve been doing this and i can’t tell you folks how much i believe that is of benefit to our parish because uh jeff jeff has worked with these people in the state of louisiana for a long time you know throughout the entire state really to get uh a spotlight on livingston parish and when your assessor of the year when you have that much experience that goes a long way um it really does so uh shout out to you for for your award well deserved thank you uh and i did want to mention that now one thing that that the assessors office throughout the state of louisiana really do is they look out for each other and they’re there to help the people of not only their parish but other parishes as well um and you want you’re going to have like a disaster uh team that’s that you’re going to put together you can have disasters we live in louisiana they’re going to happen they’re going to happen you’re going to have avoidance you’re either going to have flooding you’re going to have tornadoes you’re going to have hurricanes you’re just going to have disasters that happen in louisiana yes and it’s a great place to live i love living in louisiana i don’t want to live anywhere else no but we have disasters all the time and in the flood of 2016 we had a group that come in from point k and they had a boat group that was able to get people out of the flood jimmy leron a cessna laurent down in point could be yeah well the more we got to talking about things you know his skill is doing that yes jeff gardner from the felicianos his skill is clearing out debris yeah he just knows how to do it he can get on there and work a chainsaw better than anybody you’ve ever seen yeah not my skill i’m not an electrician right i don’t know all the wires that’s going to go through there i don’t want to be up on somebody’s roof cutting i can cut them sure but i don’t know if i’m going to do more damage yeah so you don’t need me there yeah my skill is making sure that the people that are working are fed yeah and so i’ve invested in this huge machine yeah that i can go to different areas we’ve been on the east side of the parish i’ve been in other parishes throughout this whole thing just about every day been cooking for somebody yeah it’s a beautiful thing it’s needed absolutely the boats are needed the tree cutting is needed yeah the food is needed so we’ve started talking and we said let’s form a group with the assessors association much like the sheriff’s office has that they show up at different places that are disasters you’ll look out there you and i were talking about a while ago the different sheriff’s departments that were parked yes at carter’s yeah and you would see them a lot of them weren’t getting paid right when the storm went through lake charles last year i took food up to my sheriff’s office up in a voyage parish yeah because they couldn’t get to anything yeah so you’d show up and take it up there to them they were up there helping other parishes and when it came our time people come into our parish yeah so we’re forming that group to make sure that we’re going to have a first responder yeah that says okay it hit lake charles let’s go yeah and we can go over there and we can help them but not only in the producing of food and flood and debris but right now we’re helping the different parishes come up with a way to reassess their parishes i’ve been through it so they’re calling me when they call the legislative audit they say what we do call taylor yeah he went through it in 16. yeah called aguilar she went through it in 20. so we’re able to give them a road map of ways to start doing it so i’m going to different parishes now st charles st john lefouge terrebonne and i am looking at the ways that they’re doing their reassessments yeah and i’m consulting with them saying this is what i would do this is how i would do it this is what i did yeah this is what worked this is what did not work yeah and so kind of putting things together so we’ve got a disaster team going great great and it’s a great thing and to your point you know uh especially when you’re when you’re giving throughout any disaster you you really don’t know what a difference that makes to whoever it is you’re giving that thing to and i’ll give a i’ll tell a quick little story uh 2016 i had five feet of water in my house and of course we’re like everybody else in that area of denham springs and that it came so fast we didn’t know what to do and we ended up on 16 and just standing there in the only dry place in the area and with a thousand other people share with you yeah yeah i mean you know an interesting thing is it didn’t matter your economic status none of that mattered you had people that were poverty level on that road you had people that were rich on that road it didn’t matter we were all together but four or five days of that water before it even receded enough where you could go back in your home and i’ll never forget this jeff um i’ll never forget uh you know with three kids and a wife i go back we’re kind of assessing everything for lack of a better term seeing what’s going on and uh people were going down the road and they were handing things out the one thing i didn’t have was toilet paper none got got a whole family here there’s no toilet paper now me you know former i’m like man i better start stacking leaves i don’t know what to do but uh you know i got a little girls and and uh and all i wanted was some toilet paper and i divine intervention whatever you want to call it but as soon as that entered my mind it was not 30 minutes later guys driving down the road and he has a guy in the back of his truck and he’s throwing 12 pack rolls of toilet paper and i’m like man that’s when he handed that to me i looked at him and i said you have no idea what this means to me and i meant every word of it it changed me as a person that day yeah um in a in a good positive way and that guy probably did not realize for you know he may still not realize what he did for me but it took a lot of pressure off of me because i was feeling pressure for that toilet paper at the smallest thing but all the toilet paper got flooded we’re christians yeah so we understand divine intervention yes there is a reason that things happen yeah you know everybody goes to the water and they do all this kind of different things but for that guy god put it on his heart or something put it on his heart i believe god did yeah that go buy as much of as you can because people cannot get to this yes and he come through there he was a blessing to you and believe him all he was doing was following what he had been laid on his heart yeah but he was an unbelievable blessing to you and took off stress for you yes i believe that’s the way the lord works i believe that’s why he puts people in certain positions i think that’s why he gives you ideas to do 100 and it may be cooking it may be toilet paper it could be water you could have a trailer full of nothing but water and you’re taking out there and handing it off yeah look when you’re in the situation we were in 2016 and with people in with ida yes two bottles of water is a lot a skull it means something absolutely and so um i just believe that god puts people in places telephone tell a friend tell everyone if you have been to look at me 4d imaging they have been nominated for baton rouge parents magazine’s 2021 family favorite voting began september 1st but it continues through september 30th please take a moment if you’re a watcher of my podcast and go vote for them and the best news is you can vote once per day look at me 4d imaging is your one and only local 3d and 4d early gender determination ultrasound studio located right here in livingston parish they are here for all of your before birth ultrasound needs so check them out on the web at look at me 4d and don’t forget to vote i’m going to include the link in the comments or the description of this podcast thanks so much i actually made a trip out to moorpal recently and boy they got hit and uh and you know those those poor people they had they had uh speaking of water they had pallets of water out there and they would they would drive it up and just set it in the front of those subdivisions and and people would just come and grab as they needed and that’s a beautiful thing uh for them to be able to do that uh but our parish livingston parish we always come through for our people and uh and i believe that the the beauty of people comes out in disasters a lot of times i’ve said this many times and it’s not because i’m elected yeah i’ve said it before i was elected i will put livingston parish people up against anybody in this world when it comes to helping others yes they show up for jambalayas these benefits that they have we’ll tell people how much we raised on the journal that’s impossible no it’s not but you only sold 300 plates yeah i know but the people that came through they gave 20s the 30s and 40s they donated the food we were able to do it and then they’ll carry it’s amazing to me at the generosity of people of livingston parish you can take those waters and drop them out you don’t have people running up there and grabbing all them throwing the back of the truck yeah if they are they’re taking them to neighbors they can’t get to it the generosity of the people is unbelievable yes and i love this parish i do too i mean you say you can’t say it any better than that man just put them up against anybody yeah and they talk about livingston and they used to make fun of livings and everything now they talk about livingston because this is the place to be that’s right david 100 we’ve grown from uh what 90 000 people in 2000 to 145 yes yeah yeah they want to be here real deal real deal here in livingston paris uh so and speaking of that and speaking of growth uh you know you’ve been researching some new software uh let’s discuss that let’s discuss this whole software thing and let me tell you how it happened about two months ago i got a phone call yep one morning said all right we got a little situation and i said okay and it was another assessor from paris he called and he said i’m just finding out this information the company that we’ve all been using has been breached we’re fine the assessors are fine yes the sheriff’s association is not yeah some of them got really breached and so they’ve been hacked yeah okay so what’s that mean for us well your sheriff should be calling you sometimes what i was on the phone with him sheriff cut in he’s like i got some information for you he said the company’s been breached he said it’s pretty serious they brought in the state department the fbi military everybody come in and raided this company yeah but the sheriff’s association knew about it for one year before they could let us know under penalty of arrest yeah they could not they had to continue doing business with this company acting like nothing happened yeah you realize how hard that would be i can only imagine especially when you want to tell other districts sure you can’t yeah so he told me as soon as he could yeah and at that point we decided okay we need to start searching because if this company was breached that easily and the reason they couldn’t tell us anything is they was trying to find out where the breach come from yeah they didn’t want to chip off they didn’t want to tip off the company and all this kind of stuff we understood it completely so we had to do our due diligence and make sure that we were not breached we were not so we we come out fine but we found that the company was probably there were some things that they should have done better as far as protecting and security yeah so i decided i need to start looking for another company or see if there’s somebody out there that’s a little bit better if not if this company’s good will stay here but i’m gonna i’m gonna use this time to research sure so i have done some extensive um review in the last two months i have talked with them in los angeles i actually went to los angeles yeah uh looked at their software i didn’t want to be sold i didn’t want to sell them everybody said well won’t you just have the salesman come in because he’s only going to tell me the good when i went to these different deals we went to tampa we went to dallas i went to los angeles i’m going to seattle and i’m going to vermont why those areas because every time we’re up for anything in iwa they win every time yeah so if i’m going to get to where livingston parish is the best yeah you got to play the best that’s right you know i already know what louisiana’s doing i know every company that is represented in louisiana yeah there’s one embosser that is leading the pack right now as far as i’m concerned in louisiana yeah but we haven’t been uh visited the king daddy yet which is seattle they’re they’re the best i’ve talked to the assessor up there a few times and he says yeah we kind of got a decent district up here yeah i think everybody thinks that y’all are the best i said i’m coming to see you i said i want to see what you have i said and i want you to be brutally honest with me yeah i want you tell me the bad and the good yeah los angeles did that they told me everything that they didn’t like about their system they told me everything they liked dallas did the same thing tampa told us the same thing yeah so that’s what we’re trying to learn is what is the goodwin so i can bring it back here again if you want to be the best you got to get the best and so we’re working on all of those things with the deal i take different groups of my office i’ll take personal property and residential with me i’ll take commercial and change orders with me and we’ll put them in an area you you need to work with these people and they’ll spend a day yeah doing nothing but change or watching them do change orders does that work for you yeah what what doesn’t work for you i was telling you a little bit ago we went to los angeles and when i was talking to a cesar preen out there we were he was saying well this is what we have we’re spending 100 million dollars we’re doing this 100 million that’s a lot of money yeah okay yeah so when he started putting everything up on screen i was looking at i said okay that’s pretty good i like that i like that i like that well when they finally started saying well what do y’all do in losing i said well we’ve been doing that for about five years and we’ve been doing that for 10 years and he was like you really have i said we we already have the scan documents in we already have the pictures i’ve already got everything in my parish measured yeah we’re the only one in the state that has everything a tape measure been put on it wow i made a decision 12 years ago to make sure that i put a tape on everything yeah so when people come in and tell me they got a 1200 square foot house yeah you actually got 18. yeah because my guys went out here on this date and we measured it for you so when he was talking about all these things and everything that they were already doing some of that but he did have some good ideas that i said i’m going to take that home with me and i’m going to put that on my screen and so all of these things i’m writing down i’m taking the best of what everybody has yeah and i’m adding it to whatever i’m going to buy but i am going to by the time we get through with this in january february or march we’re going to have a top-notch software service that’s fantastic and you know the interesting thing about all of that to me is you’re going to different places and you’re taking kind of the best parts of what you like out of individual assessors offices and then you’re bringing it back here and you’re kind of tailor making your own program i’m making my own program and it’s beautiful it’s tailor-made yeah so yeah they’ll play

but if it’s not working for them why would i bring it into here yeah so i can go ahead and take all that out whereas if i just bought a canned program i would have all the bad with it yeah so i can go ahead and just take all that out and say let’s don’t even bring that in here let’s replace what they’re doing over here with what tampa was doing over here because it worked better there i need that program in mind that’s a great thing and so all of a sudden we’re going to have a pretty good one absolutely and so i’m looking forward to it it’s a big learning curve man i can only imagine yeah but we’re not going to be good very good and you know it’s nice to have that teamwork there nationally really with all these other assessors office throughout the nation that they’ll open up their doors to you and say hey come on in jeff and and we’ll show you how we do it it’s relationship i go to the iwa conferences and that’s the international association of assessing officers is what it is and i go okay when i go i go to the meetings yes a lot of people say you are a nerd but i go to the meetings because when you go the best and those meetings yeah the ones that are not the best they’re going sightseeing yes so when you’re sitting there all of a sudden you meet jeff preen from los angeles you meet all of these different assessors and you’re sitting there talking to them yeah and so when you call them you pick up the phone and you call kings county up and see how they go hey jeff how are you doing i talked to you in a while everything going yeah how y’all doing with cove and everything look i would like to come in you’re off man we’re closed down we don’t really let anybody in but i’ll tell you what we’re going to do we’re going to let your people come in and we’ll guide you through yeah so they’re going to set it up for us to be able to go whereas their offices are closed california still closed down sure they let me come in yeah so i could see all these things so it’s relationship it’s just relationships when you build relationships people are willing to let you do things it really is it’s relationships working together and it’s it’s who we are in the united states overall and it’s the best of america and all those good things now speaking of uh working together uh you recently had uh some of your office kind of taken over by our national guard and you were happy to do that tell us a little bit about the national 2016 the national guard came in they needed a place to set up their computers and be able to look at everything yeah sleep out in the truck but they needed a place to put everything in here sure so i said well i’ve got an office uh it’s not the best but it’ll work you can come in here and you can take over my kitchen well when you say take over we’re gonna move to two little areas and we’re gonna do all of our stuff because right now with the flood i can’t be assessing anything yeah you know can’t do it so we’re going to let you come in here and take it over so they took over the kitchen they took over all offices put cots and everything everywhere yeah fast forward down to ida so i get a phone call and they say would you allow the national guard to come in absolutely this building that we just built and we moved into in 2019 was built for the purpose of housing the assessor’s office but also being a first responder area that we can set up so all we have to do is move a few things around they have cots the clerk court is in the back of that building they had bunk beds and everything in their area yeah that in case an emergency their people had were out of work they could come there and stay had a shower so we allowed the national guard to go back there in the bunks we took the back six seven offices we put bunks all in there yeah they put their cots in there so we had 27 national guardsmen that were operating at our office for about three weeks wow and so they when i tell you they took over they took over it was their office and we just run the front and we we did everything that we needed to do yeah up front and we worked closely with them and it was just seamless man they and so they know that when they come out here they’ve got a place to go that’s a great and they don’t have to sleep in their trucks yeah because a bunch of them were sleeping in a truck when you’d see them they’d be sitting up there and they’d be sitting in the front seat with their feet propped up on the deal they’re sleeping yeah why yeah we’ve got resources yes come over here now i can’t keep a hundred of you but i can keep 27 of you i know i can keep 27. yeah because we kept 27. beautiful and we fed them yeah you know yeah we fattened them up a little bit yeah look they love that and and uh gosh those guys work hard after that disaster and you know even the little pods they had set up in several areas uh you would see those national and they’re just loading water in people’s cars and i mean all day long it was hot it was all day yeah they would come back full sleep yeah they’d come back in the evening time and they were just i mean they were worn out yeah they didn’t need to be trying to fix things yes there’s a few things to the office that we’re adding that is going to make us better first responders that we learned from this yeah that we’re going to be able to help with them i think that’s a great point and you know anytime you go through a disaster it’s a it’s a horrible thing i mean there’s no sugar cutting that but you do learn and you do learn uh every time maybe a way in which you can do something better and and uh i try to find the silver lining kind of in any disaster one of those is you learn uh something better you know or even if it’s just a process of doing just a process or just a tweak yeah you know i had people that um and i think i said this earlier but people asked they said are you open we never closed never closed through covid we didn’t close through ida when ida went through on sunday night monday morning at 7 30 we were there at the office yeah we were ready to roll that’s just what our office does and then i would get checking on my people i had trees and everything down my yard but i had no damage to my home you kind of do that cyber leaf yeah and then you start getting the phone calls yes and i’ve got six seven eight ten of my employees that’s got damage to their homes someone being told that they won’t get electricity back for three four months because that pool did everything away

we’ve got to be able to have the workers so there’s some things that have to be done at the office that is going to accommodate some of those things right you know if it’s nothing more than a shower for the national guard i mean they’re coming in there hot all day you can’t take a shower three or four days you’re gonna be miserable yes and so if we can help with some of those things and we found out that we can yeah and we’re going to accommodate and do a little bit better each time and every time there’s a disaster we’ll add something to it and eventually we’ll be there i love it i love it now uh let’s talk about legislation real quick and in millage updates okay yeah uh we’ve got a um one of the things that we worked on for years is every time you go to a district and you say can you lower your military man we can’t lower our military because if we do we’re going to lose our maximum yeah but that never was the case you’ve just got to go back to your maximum millage once every four years yeah it was too complicated you couldn’t explain it and they knew how to use it so they didn’t have to lower their millages right we can’t do it so we went into legislation this year and is actually led by assessor thibodeaux dead on lafourche parish and she um really worked she worked um hard yes legislation and i think there was one uh person that voted against it and all of the legislation that’s hard to even imagine that you had one no vote out of all of them yeah and uh what it does is you can lower your millages every year because if you didn’t raise it back to the maximum at least once every four years you lost your maximum sure so the districts wouldn’t do it we got it passed now to where you can lower your millages every year yeah you can lower them every year for 20 years just keep on lowering them yeah if you need it for a disaster or if you need a new program that you need to buy our mapping system you can go back to your maximum any time yeah and then you can lower it again fantastic it changed it it took that argument away from the districts that we can’t lower because if we do we’re going to lose our maximum now you can lower it as much as you want to that’s a beautiful thing it’s a beautiful thing you know i’m not smiling because um it’s a beautiful thing because it takes that argument away that’s right it starts giving it back to the people because look when we do a reassessment we have a windfall of money yeah now some of the districts do not some of them do this is going to allow it to be better monitored yeah and we can then start pointing it out a little bit more that you can probably and it’s not my business to get into the other districts right but it is my business to let people know who is lowered and who has not sure yeah i agree 100 my job is millages my job is assessments yeah so if i’m learning this if i’m raising the assessments and i’m doing my job then instead of taking this windfall every four years lower your middle just a little bit yes give a little bit back to the people yes and and important to mention i’m just going to mention this as a side note so obviously for whatever reason the last couple of years real estate has just exploded not only is real estate exploded but the uh the availability of houses has shrunk so what happens is the market uh the houses become in less supply which raises the cost of houses just by uh you know natural progression uh and man i’ll tell you what houses are selling in three days that used to take three months to sell and they’re selling for 30 40 grand more in a lot of cases they’re selling for more than people are asking yes because people are so desperate over list yes over list you listed at 200 000 somebody comes in off your 215. yes and you’re sitting there going and then they get in a fight i put the bid in first let me tell you what what what is 2024 is going to be the next reassessment yeah okay we use our numbers 18 months before so i’ll be using numbers from july the 1st of 22 through june the 30th of 23. yeah to get our reassessment numbers yeah i’m telling people guys assessments based on numbers which is the law i like to base them on the numbers yeah it’s just not nothing to do with you it has nothing to do with me the tax commission comes in and said these are the numbers you will use and we use them and i’m sitting here looking at numbers at 30 40 45 percent you’re like a lot wow and here’s the thing people say well we’ll just vote for somebody else it don’t matter who’s in it this is the numbers you have to use well it has nothing to do with you it’s housing sales it’s housing sales it’s based off of value yes assessments are based off of value be happy folks your house increased 45 percent value when they sell it they want it to be up yeah they’re paying tax on it they want to be down yeah and so when you’re looking at the deal like this i’m going to do what the law says to do sure if they do it different they’re breaking the law they’re american alone period yeah now what do you want yeah we already have a reputation of everybody breaking the law yeah i’m not going to break the law yeah when it comes out it’s going to be what it’s going to be so if the numbers are high which i’m tickled to death real estate agents look i’ve got friends of mine buying houses and they’re saying this is what i paid for it i’m like wow just two years ago it was this much yeah yeah but we wanted this house okay remember that yeah however you get that tax bill well that’s right and and maybe it’s my way of looking looking at things through rose-colored glasses as they say but i i look at it as hey my investment just went up you know it’s in a house is an investment right right it’s a it’s an asset so you it just jumped through the roof that’s a great thing yeah you might have to pay a little more property taxes but that’s okay i’ll be glad to pay a little more in property taxes if my investment skyrockets like that well let me tell you something else it may cost you a little bit more to live in livingston than it does in baton rouge where you want to live where you want i want to live and live in here okay yeah where do you want to live well baton rouge charges us this much okay i want to live here i want my kids to go to a school in their neighborhood i want my kids to be safe we offer all of that here in livingston yeah we’ve got good people beautiful people may cost you a little bit more to live here but where you want to live your schools are great you know uh yeah it’s no comparison to or no i’m probably gonna get a phone call on that from some of my friends but um what do you want to do yeah i mean repeat it over and over again that’s right and and it’s important to know you don’t you don’t have any any uh uh leeway there you have to go off numbers straight up if housing dropped 45 your assessments would go down 35 it’s you have no control over that you assess it and that is what it is and this is what i try to tell people if you disagree with your assessment call us we would look at it it’s not like it was 20 years ago where we go man i have no idea what you’ve got yeah i haven’t seen your house i’ve i have no drawings of it i have no measurements of it so we’re going to try to work with you yeah but now when you come in bring some proof because we’re going to have the proof yeah and we’re going to have the way to back it up so we’re going to be able to say now if i lower yours what am i going to do with your neighbors yeah because they deserve to get there see my job is to make it fair and equitable yes that’s my job yes so if i lower yours if as people accuse in the you know campaigns they say oh he’s got buddies he goes my mom don’t think i’m doing any favors for her because my mom’s is assessed where it needs to be yeah if i’m going to do mine every employee that comes to work for me their family gets reassessed right then yeah be amazed at the ones ten years ago that didn’t want to come work for me when i told them that yeah well what’d that tell me their assessment may not be right so we went and checked them anyway yeah so if you come to work for the assessor’s office understand you’re getting reassessed and all your assessments can be put absolutely if it’s wrong it’s gonna be put where it needs to be that’s right so that’s the only way we can do it if i’m going to be out there assessing the property i better be right in mind because this sure is going to make it easy for somebody throw a stone if mine’s under assessed and everybody else is over assessed absolutely so you just do it right you you you take a lot of the noise and you block it out you know and people say it don’t bother you what people say and there’s a lot of people that don’t like me because somebody was willing to lie about me period yeah so if i listen to all of that it would be just a long day i just choose not to i choose to listen to the people that are positive about this parish they want it to move forward they want things to be done right and i’m going to continue to do that so when you get your tax bill if you disagree with your assessment call me yeah let’s talk about it yeah but if your assessment if you and i agree on your assessment and you get your tax billings too high you’re calling the wrong person when you call me sure because your assessment’s right yeah if your taxes are too high call your districts if your assessment’s wrong call your assessor yeah 100 and and uh you know it’s important for people to remember i want i want a fair assessment i want to pay everything i owe and and uh because i know where that goes you know that’s going to sheriff’s department that’s going to the these important uh entities that we have that make livingston parish so great right and so uh so folks just be aware that yes how housing values have shot through the roof period well thank you for coming on again you should uh you shed a lot of light on a lot of things um tell people how they can get in touch with the assessor’s office if they if they want to inquire about the reductions of those sorts of okay you can do it a couple different ways you can call us our number is 225-686-7278

yeah you can go on livingston yeah and you can send us an email or just whatever you want to do send us a note sure we’ll try to get to you not try we will get to you yeah but you can come out now our lobby we’re very leery of opening the doors to the lobby sure because if my staff goes down yeah we got a problem tax season comes you got that right we have to literally we we try to keep our people in departments should we say don’t don’t mingle yeah you know residential you don’t need to be back here yeah commercial you need but don’t don’t don’t mingle yeah because if you get coveted and you bring it up here my whole office and we got to shut down that’s not you talking about you asked the districts how much they would want the assessor’s office to shut down yeah they don’t they don’t so we’re very diligent about it if you’re at my office and you’re at your station if you get up you need to wear a mask yeah and they’re all like oh

yeah can’t afford it can’t afford to leave please don’t let me down here and find that you’re not because one person can knock out all 26 of my people yes so we’re very diligent about that but give us a call come by if you’re outside you call us we come to the door we open the door and we take care of the business yeah okay it’s not that you can’t get service it’s just we’ve got the number on the door we’re just not going to have it to where people walk in and out taking precautions i got to take precautions absolutely but we’re um we’re we’re available 25 very good i say i’m available 24 7. there’s a lot of people that have my cell number i used to give it out i used to give that one in my mom and my wife’s number out and i said if you can’t get in touch with me here’s my wife’s number here’s my mom’s number my mom called me she said you need to cut that out because they are willing to call me yeah and so i don’t give out the the cell numbers anymore yeah because a lot of times you don’t know if it’s is um uh what they call spam yeah and so if i don’t recognize the number i wait somebody leaves me a message yeah i’m the same one because i i would literally be answering my phone oh yeah yeah my home warranty has expired about 500 times warranty i mean yeah so uh but yeah just come by and visit visit um give us a call 225-686-7278 we will get to you we will take care of you sounds good and i’ll link your website to the description of this video make it easy for people if they need to go to the website or whatever they can just click so they’ll be there thank you again for coming on always a pleasure to have you on anytime you want to come back and talk about the great things that are going on with the assessor’s office we’ll be glad to have you on jeff we’re going to make your decision on the software i’m going to come back and we’re going to do a little demonstration for you and show you what we’re looking at and all the stuff we added that would be pretty good and yeah we need to probably look at the flyover absolutely need to probably um have a way for us to show some people how that flyover works yeah so they can see where their money’s going yeah i think that’s a great idea so look for that on a on an upcoming episode of local leaders of podcast i do want to thank all the listeners uh viewers out there who support our show support what we’re doing right here in livingston parish louisiana please continue to like comment subscribe all those great things we rely on you folks to get the word out and appreciate you so much i want to thank all my sponsors uh for supporting what we do here at local leaders they’re all local businesses located right here in livingston parish and they you know they really do this out of the kindness of their heart jeff and and uh and they support local supporting locals so i want to add something yes they support locals doing locals yes but they really like it when locals are being acknowledged for what they do yes i’m understanding yes that you are one of the top ten finalists i am an award i am that is international podcast business podcast yes um i think that’s pretty cool i think so although they’re um i just sounded so 70s that’s all right but i think that’s a good thing um when you are good at what you do you get acknowledgement for it not just for yourself but for your community yes so thank you for what you’re doing here in livingston parish but even more congratulations to you and your family for being acknowledged for being a top 10 recipient thank you i appreciate that very much and it’s uh you know it’s all about the people like you that come on my show and and you know if it weren’t for people like the jeff taylors of the world coming on and i would really be nothing i mean without you guys and i really do appreciate that so thank you um and thank you for acknowledging that uh we are very lucky fortunate proud all those sorts of things here local leaders to get that it blows our mind daily that that you know people are really all over the place are looking at livingston parish louisiana and what we’re doing here so uh just honored jason for that uh as i say every episode uh i am jim chapman reminding you love your community support local business and your local assessor’s office and keep leading thank you very much thanks jeff

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