Sep 12, 2012 7:19 PM by Erin Steuber
Some properties in downtown Lafayette are worth more than anyone thought. This year's annual reassessment showing huge increases in value for commercial properties in that area. KATC's Erin Steuber sat down with the Lafayette Parish Assessor Conrad Comeaux to find out why.
Comeaux says there was rumor some of the businesses downtown were severely undervalued, so he and his team focused this year on collecting more accurate information about each property
"Some of the properties that hadn't been properly assessed, or brought up to where they should be, you know, increased naturally this year," said Comeaux. "It wasn't because of increase in market values, we just had bad information on buildings."
One of the most drastic increases is Iberia Bank Tower. It's value increased in this latest reassessment by more than $7 million. Agave Mexican Cantina on Vermillion Street, jumping from $31,966 to $322,274, up by more than a quarter-million dollars. And finally, Antlers Restaurant and Bar, it's value literally tripled to more than $200,000.
"Then you get into a maintenance mode. Before we were trying to get all the information, and now that we have it, now we can maintain it a lot easier," said Comeaux.
An increase in property values means an increase in property tax revenue across the parish, including at Lafayette Consolidated Government.
"Certainly the increase in revenues we get, however small, we're able to provide more services to our community," said LCG CAO Dee Stanley. "That could mean more drainage work, more road and bridge work, but it's such a small number that they can see it in our budget no matter what the assessment is."
The assessment is not final, all values are under review until September 14. The Lafayette Parish Assessor said this year's annual reassessment was a "mixed bag". Some properties increased in value, while some properties decreased, and it varied by area in the parish
Here is a complete list of the 2011 vs. 2012 fair market value of commercial businesses in Downtown Lafayette:
Iberia Bank Tower $1.9 million to $9.1 million
Chase Tower $7.7 million to $13.1 million
Agave Cantina $31,966 to $322,274
Antler's $63,766 to $200,707
Teche Drugs $71,466 to $286,782
Athena $54,166 to $124,939
Frankie's Burgers $31,766 to $155,911
IND Monthly Officer $71,166 to $306,013
Home Bank $562,033 to $654,343