Louisiana Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Louisiana[edit | edit source]

County (Parish) Level[edit | edit source]

Unfortunately, most of the tax lists at the parish lists no longer exist. However any that do can be found in the tax assessor's office in the parish courthouse. Louisiana taxed almost everything from household and personal goods, livestock, slaves and property. Tax lists can be used as a substitute census, to create complete neighborhoods for a neighborhood study, to establish relationships and to locate land. [1]

State Level[edit | edit source]

  • 1862-1866 Internal revenue assessment lists Internal revenue assessment lists for Louisiana. Instead of Counties the State is divided into Parishes and then each Parish is put into a District: The following gives the districts in which each parish lies: Parish names are arranged alphabetically within the District and then within months. The following is a list of Parishes placed in which district. (knowing the district and Parish your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on page scroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

DISTRICT 1 contains Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Washington parishes.

DISTRICT 2 contains Assumption, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Lafayette, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Sabine, St. landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge, West Felilciana parishes.

DISTRICT 3 contains Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Carroll, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, De Soto, Franklin, Jackson, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Tensas, Union, Winn parishes.

Tax money bag.jpg

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [2]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]