In years passed, parish property owners had to be certain their tax notices didn’t get lost in the clutter of shopping circulars mailed in the period around Thanksgiving.

Recent changes in state law saw parish tax assessors get the information submitted to state officials earlier than previous years, which translated into tax notifications going out earlier this month.

Morehouse Parish Tax Assessor John Hill said legislative changes in how the 15 taxing authorities in Morehouse Parish set the millage they levy translated into earlier approval of the tax rolls by the Louisiana Tax Commission.

Sheriff Mike Tubbs said the changes should be beneficial to taxpayers.

“This gives them two or three extra weeks to make their payments,” Tubbs said.

Significant decreases in the assessed value of property in the parish brought about by the closure of International Paper’s Louisiana Mill rebounded slightly, translating into a modest increase in assessed value in 2013 against 2012 figures. The overall value of all property assessed in the parish increased by 0.86 percent, from $173,887,620 in 2012 to $175,380,695 on January 1, 2013.

The total amount of taxes to be collected this year increased by 2.1 percent over 2012, when $12,502,288.99 was collected. For 2013, total property taxes of $12,756,663.50 are due to be collected.

Taxes can be paid in person at the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office Civil Division, 351 South Franklin. St. in Bastrop. They can also be mailed to the same address or paid online at Taxpayers taking advantage of the online payment feature will also be assessed a convenience fee.