Apply for Homestead Exemption
A homestead is defined by Louisiana law as a tract of land or two or more tracts of land even if the land is classified and assessed at use value with a residence on one tract and a field with or without timber on it, pasture or garden on the other tract or tracts, not exceeding (160) acres, buildings and appurtenances, whether rural or urban owned and occupied by any person or persons owning the property in indivision.
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 affected tax must be state, parish or special ad valorem
If these conditions are met, the state allows 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). Military veterans with either a service connected disability rating of 100% or a total unemployability rating by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs can qualify for a homestead exemption of $15,000 of assessed valuation (or $150,000 of fair market value). A homestead exemption does not however exempt the homeowner from ad valorem taxes levied by local municipalities.
Homestead exemptions are based upon conditions existing as of January 1st every year. For example, if an individual is building a new home and it is not complete as of January 1st, no homestead exemption shall be granted and only the land value shall be subject to ad valorem taxation.
Individuals who purchase a home may submit an application for homestead exemption up until December 31st of the year of acquisition. Individuals shall retain the homestead exemption indefinitely as long as the home remains their primary residence.
Permanent Homestead Exemption
West Baton Rouge Parish offers a permanent homestead exemption, once you apply for the exemption you need not reapply annually. If however, you sell your property, you must reapply if you buy or build another residence.
The homestead exemption does extend to the following:
- surviving spouse
- surviving spouse as usufructuary
- 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
usufructuaries (no more than 2) who were the immediate prior owners of the homestead
- property owned in 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 exemption does NOT extend to the following:
- bond for deed purchases
- property owned by a partnership 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