A Homestead is defined by Louisiana law as a tract of land or two or more tracts of land with a residence on one tract and a field, pasture or garden on the other tract or tracts not exceeding 160 acres.
The same homestead exemption shall also fully apply to a mobile home or other manufactured housing that serves as a bona fide home, and is owned and occupied by any person, regardless of whether the homeowner owns the land upon which the home is situated.
The following conditions must be met before a homestead exemption is allowed:
- The taxpayer must be a natural person(s) or a trust created by a natural person(s)
- The taxpayer must own the property
- The taxpayer must reside on the property he/she owns
- The taxpayer is not claiming homestead exemption on any other property
If these conditions are met, the state will then allow one homestead exemption per landowner, exempting the homestead from state, parish and special ad valorem taxation to the extent of $7,500 of assessed valuation (or $75,000 of fair market value). Homestead exemption does not however exempt the homeowner from ad valorem taxes levied by local municipalities.
Military veterans with a service connected disability rating of 100% by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs may qualify for an additional homestead exemption of $7,500. To apply, homestead exemption must be in place and an A25 form from the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs will need to be provided.
Homestead exemptions are based upon conditions existing as of January 1st every year. For example, if new construction is not completed and occupied on January 1st, no homestead shall be granted and only land value shall be subject to ad valorem taxation.
If you apply and qualify for homestead exemption, it will remain on the property as long as you continue to own the property and declare it as your primary residence. Once approved you do not need to reapply.
In the spring the Assessor mails homestead exemption receipts to notify property owners that their exemption has been renewed. If the homeowner is no longer living on the property (address has changed, etc.) the Post Office returns the card to the Assessor, in which case the assessor’s office will investigate and the exception may be cancelled.
The homestead exemption does extend to the following:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving spouse as usufructuary
- Usufructuraries (no more than 2) who were the immediate owners of the homestead
- Testamentary trust established for the benefit of the surviving spouse and the descendants of the deceased spouse or surviving spouse
- Trust when the principal beneficiary or beneficiaries of the trust are the settlor or settlors of the trust and were the immediate prior owners of the homestead
- Property owned indivision, limited to the pro-rata ownership interest of the person(s) occupying the homestead
- Residential lessees who own and occupy a residence, including mobile homes, but do not own the land upon which the residence is situated
The homestead does not extend to the following:
- Bond for deed purchases
- Property owned by a partership or corporation
- Property held for commercial purposes
- The portion of income producing property not occupied by the owner as his/her primary residence
- Purchase arrangements which do not transfer title i.e., lease purchase agreements
For further detailed information regarding homestead exemption, please view CONST 7:20 from the Louisiana State Legislature.