Thousands of New Orleans homeowners are currently reeling from the high costs of repairing roofs, gutters, sheetrock and other physical casualties of Hurricane Ida. With a higher insurance deductible because Hurricane Ida was a “named” storm, some are turning to low-interest loans to help fund repairs.
Reducing expenses is another option. Just like after Hurricane Katrina 16 years ago, Assessor Erroll Williams has opened up the tax rolls through Thursday (Oct. 7) at 4 p.m. to accept applications for 2021 property tax relief.
Owners of residential property are automatically receiving a 5% deduction. If that amount is satisfactory, homeowners don’t need to take any further action. Owners of commercial properties or those who believe their damages exceed 5% must submit applications.
Property owners can apply in person, by phone, mail or online. Most people are applying online. More than 2,000 people are expected to apply before the deadline.
Williams has advised citizens interested in the service not to wait until the last minute to apply. Of course many of us — myself included — are doing just that. I took advantage of the tax reduction after Katrina when I lost the roof on my garage. This year I am claiming the deduction because of excessive roof damage in several places, including around a skylight.
Like many of you, I’ve made an insurance claim but haven’t been able to get a roofing contractor to give me an estimate. Williams’ office said that will not preclude me from applying. It’s an easy process. Applicants can complete the Hurricane Ida Damage Form on the Assessor’s Office website and submit it with any kind of supporting documentation.
Submissions must include documentation to support a damage claim, such as photographs, contractor estimates of repair, inspection report, damage appraisal, adjuster’s estimates or a copy of an insurance claim.
Assessors throughout the region are offering a similar program with a goal of ensuring citizens getting every penny they deserve.
The damage form is available here. Documents can be submitted online, dropped off at the assessor’s offices City Hall, Room 4E01, 1300 Perdido St. or the Algiers Courthouse, 225 Morgan St. See here to schedule a meeting. Applications can also be mailed to the Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office, P.O. Box 53406, New Orleans, LA 70153.
Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and former clients such as former District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, City Councilman Jared Brossett, City Councilwoman at-large Helena Moreno, Foster Campbell, former Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former City Councilwomen Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell. She is a member of the Democratic Parish Executive Committee. Columbus can be reached at email@example.com.