I’m Carroll Ellzey, candidate for Sabine Assessor.
Please take a few minutes to read this post, then please share with your friends. It’s very important.
When I decided several months ago to run for Assessor (again), I pledged to my family I would stay on the “high road” with my campaign and run on my record of 16 years as your Assessor. I will continue to do that. However, there are untrue statements being made about the current Assessor and myself through the local radio station and through “Cenla Report.” This misinformation is being repeated and echoed by other candidates in the Assessor’s race. Their platform is that “reappraisal hasn’t been done in 20 years”. Please allow me to give you “the rest of the story.”
Many of you received a “notice of value” letter this year from the Assessor’s Office revealing an increase in your property value. This notice was the result of a “ratio study” completed by the Louisiana Tax Commission (LTC) that the Assessor’s Office failed. The LTC is the state agency that governs local assessor’s. The law states an assessor is required to reassess property at least every four years. Values placed on properties by the assessor must meet certain criteria set forth by the LTC. Each year, the LTC performs a ratio study on the assessor’s values placed on properties within the parish. A ‘failed’ ratio study forces reappraisal of property within the parish–thus the value notice you received. Each of the 16 years I served and the past six years of the current administration, the ratio study was PASSED by the LTC. Each year, there were values of property the LTC didn’t agree with (some too high, some too low). They would ask us to correct the values, we would correct them, and the ratio study (and the annual tax roll) WERE APPROVED and CERTIFIED—PROVING THE CURRENT ASSESSOR AND MYSELF DID OUR JOB CORRECTLY. Question: Why didn’t the LTC allow this assessor to adjust the values over the next two years, (as they have always done) with 2020 being the designated reassessment year?
WHY a “failed” ratio study in 2018?? In 2015, a large pipeline company appealed the assessor’s value placed on their property to the Tax Commission. (The LTC also hears appeals by property owners when the owner and assessor can’t agree on the value) The LTC ruled in favor of lower taxes for the pipeline company, in effect increasing property taxes on LOCAL residents for 3 years. The Sabine Assessor sued the LTC, arguing that her value of the property was correct. The State Appeals Court ruled in favor of the Sabine Assessor. The LTC “employees” were very upset about losing the case and called a “meeting” that evening to discuss what had happened and what to do. There are also employees at the LTC with strong local interests in our Assessor’s race. In 2018, the Sabine Assessor’s ratio study was failed by the LTC.
I make absolutely NO accusations. I just want you to have the facts.
For those of you who read “Cenla Report,” I understand the owner and/or author of the site is the campaign manager of a candidate running for assessor. I’m sure they wouldn’t allow me to post on the site, therefore I will use this venue to challenge the candidate to come forth with the truth.
So, now when we put all the pieces together, we just MIGHT have the REAL reason everyone got a value notice in 2019. IT’S NOT FAIR TO BLAME THE CURRENT ASSESSOR (NOR ME) AND IT’S CERTAINLY NOT FAIR TO YOU, THE TAX PAYERS!!!
Also, there has been much misinformation about the Assessment Level Freeze–a law allowing homeowners who meet certain criteria to freeze their assessments. Some candidates want you to believe we’re keeping some kind of big secret from you. The Assessment Level Freeze was voted on and passed by the people as a constitutional amendment in 1998 and went into affect in 2000. I put articles in the paper, articles were in the Shreveport and Natchitoches Times, and the current assessor put out much information about it. Why would we withhold information that benefits our seniors and veterans? Making claims to the contrary is just bad politics!
I hope this is not considered “mud slinging.” I can name names of everyone I referenced, but I chose not to. I have suggested to some in the media and others that the actions of Louisiana Tax Commission should be investigated in this matter, but this fell on deaf ears.
I have been asked why I decided to run for Assessor again. This office and the job of the assessor are too IMPORTANT to play dirty politics. If anyone has questions about my comments, please feel free to respond or call me.