BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana residents in East Baton Rouge Parish have until Monday to pay their 2020 property tax bills online without penalty, officials said.
Thursday was the deadline for property tax owners in the parish but an extension was granted because the online property tax bill payment system malfunctioned Thursday morning.
Director Vivia Dimmer said the web service crashed for a couple of hours amid a rush of last-minute taxpayers, but the service began working again shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday. The payment service is managed by Software & Services, a Shreveport-based company that the Sheriff’s Office contracts with.
Dimmer said the weekend-long grace period may be extended, but she’s not sure yet, The Advocate reported.
“We will make a determination about what we do later,” Dimmer said.
Chief Civil Deputy Skip Rhorer said the Sheriff’s Office received a handful of complaints about the system being down, but it’s unclear how many people tried to pay their taxes in that time and failed.
“We would not have any idea how many people were affected,” Rhorer said.
Property values were reassessed in 2019, as they are every four years. The total assessed value in East Baton Rouge increased by $248 million, according to the parish assessor’s office, reaching a total of $4.72 billion.
The increase is largely due to a continued rise in the local real estate market. Sale prices in most places have continued growing despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit hard other parts of the local economy.
Several local government agencies that are funded by property taxes voted in 2019 to “roll forward” their tax rates. That means they kept their property tax rates the same, receiving more money because of the increase in values.
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