City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Orleans Parish (La.) Board of Assessors
Property Tax Assessment Rolls

Date Range: 1857-1975
Size of Collection: 1367 rolls of 35mm microfilm
Terms of Access: Available for in house use

Historical Note

Section 25 of the 1856 city charter provided for the annual election by the Common Council of twelve individuals who, together with the Mayor, were to serve as a Board of Assessors for New Orleans. Prior to this time the city appears either to have relied on the assessments made by the assessors of state taxes or to have appointed individuals to assess property for city tax purposes. No organized Board, however, functioned in the earlier period. (For finding aids for the pre-1861 tax assessment records in the City Archives, SEE HERE) A description of other tax records located in the archives can he found in the Property Tax Records portion of Sources for Researching the History of Your House (Or Other Building) in New Orleans .

Act 77, Section 77 of the 1880 General Assembly of the State of Louisiana authorized the Governor to appoint seven tax assessors for the parish of Orleans. The governor continued to appoint the seven district assessors until the position of assessor became elective with the adoption of Article 309 of the 1898 Louisiana State Constitution -- and the position remains elective to this day. In November, 2006, a constitutional amendment consolidated the seven assessors into one. On February 18, 2010, the first city-wide assessor was elected.

Arrangement and Scope

The microfilmed tax assessment books are arranged by municipal district, broken down by assessment district (or, in the 3rd Municipal District, by ward), and then by square number. (Except for one volume, the pre-1859 volumes are "field books," which apparently were working books from which the official assessment rolls were made.)

The volumes are arranged by municipal district, broken down by assessment districts, and then by square. Individual line entries record the name of the landowner, the number and measurements of the lot, the streets bounding the property (and the street fronting it), and the assessed value for both the assessment year and the previous year. Properties sold during the previous year are indicated along with the date of sale, the buyer's name, and, sometimes, the selling price.

Additional comments are sometimes included at the end of individual line entries. Such comments may indicate, for example, that new improvements were erected during the assessment year, or possibly that an old structure was demolished or burned. Following the list of land owners there may be a second list of those persons, usually renters, owning slaves (for ante-bellum volumes) or personal property within the square. These persons are usually also identified by their professions.

The Municipal District and the Assessment District for a specific property can be located at the Orleans Parish Tax Assessor's website. Instructions on how to locate the municipal district and assessment district using this website can be found here. A map is also available in the Louisiana Division which can be used to locate the municipal and assessment districts for a given address, and a description of the boundaries of each district can be found here.

Note: In the 3rd Municipal District, assessment district boundaries (for assessnebt districts 9 and 10) were used until 1880, when the practice apparently shifted to the use of ward boundaries (wards 7, 8 and 9) instead. See the description of assessment district boundaries above or consult the map defining the assessment districts housed in the Louisiana Division.

Inventory

Linked below are inventories of volumes available for each assessment district.

The inventory is organized by Municipal District, then Assessment District and finally by date. Click on the Municipal District below to locate the inventory list for that district. The inventory will direct you to the call number for the roll of film. Film that is labeled as either Missing or Unavailable is not accessible.


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CB 4/24/2014