How to Get Your Refund of CATS Property Taxes

E — If you reside in the City of Baton Rouge or own property here, you’ve probably received a copy of your 2013 property tax bill from the Sheriff.  Included in that bill is a property tax for CATS, the Capital Area Transit System.  It’s a 10.6-mill tax, which costs you about 1/10th of one percent of the actual value of your property each year.  The CATS tax is being challenged in court and could well be declared unconstitutional.  However, even if the tax is ruled invalid, you won’t get a refund for the illegal tax unless you have paid your tax under protest.  But that’s easy to do.  When you pay your current property tax bill, just attach a letter like the following.  The sheriff is setting aside all taxes paid under protest until the case is decided.

[Taxpayer’s Name]
East Baton Rouge Parish Sherriff
Sid J. Gautreaux, III
222 Saint Louis Street
2nd Floor Room 238
Baton Rouge, LA  70802-5823

Re:    Payment Under Protest of 10.6-Mill
Capital Area Transit System Tax;
Notice # __________

Dear Mr. Gautreaux:
I have received the above-referenced notice reflecting 2013 property tax in the amount of $[__________] attributable to the 10.6-mill tax levied by Capital Area Transit System (“CATS”). By virtue of this letter, please consider that portion of my 2013 property tax, whether submitted by me or by someone else on my behalf, to be remitted under protest in accordance with the provisions of La. R.S. § 47:2134.

The constitutionality of CATS tax is already the subject of a pending suit filed in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court – Graugnard v. Capital Area Transit System, Suit No. 614,152. In light of that existing case, please segregate and hold this disputed portion of my 2013 property taxes, pending resolution of that litigation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely, [Taxpayer’s name]

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