Special Assessment Freeze program introduced for qualified property owners
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish Assessor is reminding residents that seniors and disabled residents may qualify for a Special Assessment Freeze, which prevents their homestead property from increasing in value.
This benefit will freeze the value of their homestead property against future value increases.
“The program is available to seniors who are 65 or older, those who have a disability rating of 100% through Social Security or another administrative office, and those Veterans who are 50% or more disabled with a service connected disability rating,” Calcasieu Parish Assessor Wendy Curphy Aguillard said.
Eligibility requirements also include having a tax return with an adjusted gross income of less than $100,000.
“That freezes their valuation against future reassessments; so when we get to a state-mandated reassessment year like next year will be, the valuation of their property would be frozen at whatever the level is currently, instead of being subject to reassessment,” Aguillard said.
Applying for the freeze is simple. There are no fees involved. It is permanent and for homestead properties only.
“You could get online and check it out, and they made it pretty simple; telling you what to bring and I think the whole process took maybe 15, 20 minutes,” Ann and Leon Miller said.
The special assessment freeze is a state-wide benefit. People can apply in any parish where they have a homestead.
“Well, I feel like I pay enough in taxes, don’t want to pay anymore than I have to, and goes up at a higher rate than what I think is reasonable, and I don’t really trust the people that spend the money that they do it judiciously the way that they should do it,” Paul Sorrell said.
“We like to know that our seniors are taken care of and our disabled, veterans and persons with disabilities, so if we need to make an appointment to get to them, we can do that as well,” Aguillard said.
To qualify, a resident must have a household income under $100,000 and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Age 65 or older.
- Disabled veterans with 50 percent or more service-connected disability.
- 100 percent disabled through the Social Security Administration.
Assessor’s Office staff will provide applications and more information at local senior centers later this month.
- Westlake Senior Center - Tuesday, May 23, 8:30 a.m. to noon.
- Sulphur Senior Center - Wednesday, May 24, 9 a.m. to noon.
- Lake Charles Senior Center - Thursday, May 25, 9 am to noon.
Residents can apply at the Assessor’s Office, located at 1011 Lakeshore Dr. #101 in Lake Charles, during regular office hours (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday). Applicants must bring proof of age, disability, and income.
For more information, call the Calcasieu Assessor’s Office at 337-721-3000.
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