The Louisiana Assessor’s Association recently named Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor as the “2021 Assessor of the Year.” The distinguished award recognizes one assessor each year for outstanding service to the profession and the greater community.
“This is an incredible honor,” Taylor said. “This award is for my entire office. My team puts in a lot of time and effort, treating people with fairness, kindness, and respect. Our top priority is making sure the job is done correctly. We want to make sure all assessments are fair and equitable, and that we represent the people of Livingston Parish with integrity and honesty. That is what we do every day, and I’m very honored that our work and commitment to excellence has been recognized by this award.”
Taylor has served as Livingston Parish Assessor, through the recurring approval of his constituents since August 2000.
“Jeff Taylor is well-deserving of the Assessor of the Year Award. He stays involved on important issues concerning taxation and is a tireless advocate for the taxpayer. If you need help, you can always count on him to be there,” said Louisiana Assessor’s Association President Tab Troxler, who is the elected assessor for St. Charles Parish.
“Jeff’s kindness, generosity, and desire to serve are traits we should all admire and strive to emulate. Livingston Parish is truly fortunate to have an assessor with such a sincere love for his parish and the people he serves,” said Calcasieu Parish Assessor Wendy Aguillard, who is immediate past president of the Louisiana Assessor’s Association.
In 2020, Taylor was the only assessor in the state to implement a 10 percent COVID-19 reduction for all residential property owners in Livingston Parish and up to a 20 percent reduction for affected business owners. Also, in response to constraints created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor became one of the first assessors in the state to create an online process for filing homestead exemptions.
“As we all face this pandemic together, I wanted to do my part to help our families and businesses,” Taylor said. “In addition to the reductions and making some processes easier, I reduced my office’s millage rate to provide more financial relief. During difficult times, government should do more with less, so our families don’t have to.”
Taylor is credited with raising the bar early in his administration when he implemented the first-ever property ownership map in Livingston Parish and corrected the tax rolls to give districts accurate information in setting their budgets. He also piloted a new computerized data system in his first term, creating better records and more accurate assessment information. Since that time, he has further improved the Livingston Parish mapping program to be one of the most accurate and detailed in the country, with all available data accessible online to the public at no charge.
“Technology and innovation have been critical to achieving our office’s goals of accuracy, fairness, and transparency. It’s also made navigating the information easier for our parish citizens,” he said. “Thanks to our most recent updates, every essential form, and information needed for residents to check their assessments are available online. It would be nice if all government agencies worked this way – what you see is what you get. That keeps it simple and honest.”
Taylor also led the charge at the State Legislature to implement a “freeze” form for residents 65 years of age and older, as well as for military members and disabled residents, allowing them to lock their property assessments at a current value, thereby protecting them from rapidly increasing values caused by fast-paced growth that may jeopardize their ability to continue to afford their homes.
Taylor serves on the Louisiana Assessor’s Association Board of Directors and is a past-president of the board. Taylor also is an active member of the association’s Legislative and Education Committees.
Taylor is the founding sponsor of the Assess the Need program, a non-profit charitable effort that provides school supplies to needy children throughout Livingston Parish. The program recently completed its 20th consecutive year, pushing the total amount raised in monetary and in-kind donations over that time to more than $1 million. Taylor and a team of volunteers work with the Livingston Parish Public School System each year to collect donations, purchase the needed supplies and distribute those supplies to children who need the assistance.