Skip to main content

Board of Assessors records

Identifier: CA-CJ
Map Showing Municipal Districts and Wards of New Orleans, 1959
Map Showing Municipal Districts and Wards of New Orleans, 1959

Scope and Contents

The majority of materials in this collection are tax assessment records documenting property values. These can be used to determine changes in the assessed value of properties.

How to Use Tax Assessment Records

The Board of Assessors of Orleans Parish was created in 1856; prior to this, property assessments were determined by state officials or local appointees. The assessment rolls proper begin in 1857. Except for one volume in 1859 all volumes are "field books," which apparently were working books from which the official assessment rolls were made. They are arranged by municipal district, broken down by assessment districts, and then by square. The record for each square shows the square number and bounding streets, followed by a list of the real estate owners. The record for each property shows, in addition to the owner's name, the fronting street, lot measurements, cash value of the lot and improvements, and the number & value of any enslaved persons held by the land owner on that property. Where lots had recently been sold, some reference to the sale is also included (date and name of notary, or Conveyance Office Book reference, and sale price). Following the list of land owners is a second list of those persons, usually renters, owning enslaved (for antebellum volumes) or personal property within the square. These persons are usually identified by their professions as well.


  • Creation: 1836-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Available to registered researchers by appointment. Request by call number.

Requesting Materials

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction or use of materials is prohibited without the permission of the City Archives & Special Collections. Please review the Archives' Permission to Publish note.

Biographical / Historical

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.

Each assessor was assigned to a separate assessment district, the boundaries of which were drawn by the Common Council. The Board was to organize itself, choose a president and secretary, hold meetings as needed, and keep a minute book of the proceedings of those meetings. The provisions of the charter relative to assessments were quite detailed but the Board was also to adopt rules "best calculated to produce equality and uniformity in the different valuations of property, and assessments in the several districts."

Following the completion of each district's assessment rolls the Board met to equalize them as necessary. The rolls were then opened for inspection for thirty days, after which the Board again met to review protests or requests for changes made by individual property owners. Once the rolls have been equalized and adjusted they were certified as correct by the Board and delivered to the Board of Supervisors of Assessments. Following additional adjustments by this Board, if needed, the rolls were delivered to the Comptroller for the preparation of tax bills.

Act 77 of the 1880 Louisiana legislature fixed the number of assessors at seven, one for each municipal district, and made them appointees of the Governor. Article 309 of the 1898 state constitution made the office of assessor elective and it remains so today. The mechanics of the assessment process have also changed since 1856. Some details will be found in the appendix to this description, but a close examination of the relevant Louisiana statutes and New Orleans municipal ordinances will be needed in order to understand the system fully.


30 Volumes (30 Bound Volumes)

225 Reels (225 Rolls of Microfilm)

18 Reels (18 rolls of microfilm)

Language of Materials



Records are arranged in the following series:

  • Official Proceedings, 1857-1869
  • Early Asserssment Records, Municiaplity Period, 1836-1847
  • Tax Assessment Rolls, 1857-1975
  • Bound Volumes
  • Subject Files
  • Committee on Revision of Assessments, 1901-1912

Related Materials

The assessment records of the Cities of Carrollton, Jefferson, and Lafayette prior to their annexation by New Orleans are not included in this collection. Assessments of properties located in these areas prior to annexation are included with the records of each city.


Board of Assessors records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
revised for ArchivesSpace by bsilva in 2022

Repository Details

Part of the City Archives Repository

City Archives & Special Collections
219 Loyola Avenue
New Orleans LA 70112