Barrasso Usdin Wins Closely-Watched Tax Appeal

(Client: Affordable housing developer)

Barrasso Usdin has achieved victory for its client, an affordable housing developer, in a case regarding the valuation of affordable housing developments for ad valorem taxation.  See Williams v. The Muses, Ltd. 1, 2016-0250 (La. App. 4 Cir. 10/19/16), 203 So. 3d 558.  For years, the Orleans Parish Assessor has attempted to include the federal low-income housing tax credits awarded to affordable housing developers in determining the value of the development.  These tax credits are often worth millions of dollars, and factoring them into valuation can double or triple the value of a property – substantially increasing the local property taxes assessed and potentially making the development uneconomical.  Barrasso Usdin attorneys Stephen H. Kupperman and Stephen R. Klaffky obtained a judgment disallowing this practice from the District Court, defended the judgment before the Court of Appeal, and successfully opposed a writ of certiorari filed by the Assessor to the Louisiana Supreme Court.  The appeal served as the lead case among many presenting the same issue, and was closely-watched within the affordable housing community.  The result now stands as a victory for dozens of affordable housing developers in Louisiana facing tax obligations that are disproportionate to the operating income of the properties they own.