Special signup locations for seniors to freeze home value

Senior citizens, some veterans and those with disabilities can freeze the value of their homes for the purpose of saving money on property taxes. Those eligible in Iowa, Vinton and DeQuincy can apply next week without having to leave their hometown.

Everyone wants their home to increase in value-- but when the tax assessor re-assesses and decides your house is worth more, it means you pay more in property taxes. But if the value of their home is frozen,  a higher home value alone won't mean a bigger tax bill as Calcasieu Tax Assessor Wendy Aguillard explains. "We have a freeze that's available for senior citizens 65 or older, a freeze that's available for disabled veterans, fifty per cent or more disabled; and to disabled through Social Security, 100% permanently disabled. What it does is, it freezes their value. If something is voted in they would still have that millage that would have to be paid for the new taxes voted in. But if something's paid off their taxes could go down because it would be lower. The taxes would adjust based on what the millages do but it wouldn't be a large swing in tax dollars that might happen if their property were re-assessed at a higher value."

On the flip side, if next year's reassessment finds one's house has decreased in value, that could lower the bill Aguillard says, "We can move it lower if that's the case."

Aguillard says they will go to Iowa, Vinton and DeQuincy next week to sign up those who qualify for the special assessment freeze. "We're going to come to the public instead of them having them have to come to our office."

Aguillard says the freeze is permanent as long as they own their home and live there.

The tax assessor and her staff will be at the following locations from 9 am to 1 pm next week.

On Tuesday they are at Iowa Town Hall; on Wednesday they're in Vinton and Thursday they're at DeQuincy City Hall.

For information about the freezes and documents you need to bring... Call the Calcasieu Assessor's Office at 721-3000.

Again here's the schedule for next week from Calcasieu Assessor, Wendy Curphy Aguillard and her staff:

Iowa Town Hall – Tuesday, July 19th, from 9 – 1

Vinton City Hall – Wednesday, July 20th, from 9 – 1

DeQuincy City Hall – Thursday, July 21st, from 9 – 1

For more information on the qualifications to file for these special assessment freezes and the documentation needed, please call the Calcasieu Parish Assessor's Office at 337-721-3000.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved