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Ascension Assessor adds millions to tax rolls

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GONZALES- An aerial assessment of Ascension Parish found nearly 15 percent of property owners weren't paying a fair share of taxes.

Ascension Assessor, M.J. "Mert" Smiley, used aerial pictometry to create an updated map of the parish that shows several plots that weren't being taxed before he came into office.

"We actually have the picture of it, plus we have the size of it so we don't have to go out to the property and assess it, we can do it from our office," said Smiley.

The addition to the tax rolls could result in an extra $8 million dollars a year in tax revenue for the parish. The majority of that money goes directly to the school district.

"Our children are deserving of world class facilities, our athletics programs are deserving of top notch facility, so if this money will be able to assist us in providing those resources for them then we are extremely excited about the opportunities looking forward," said Denise Graves, the assistant superintendent of Ascension Parish Schools.

The assessor will begin sending out notices to property owners who were added to rolls in August. The public should be able to access the maps online next week.

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