Tax assessment freezeMany people in Louisiana do not realize that a law has been in place for years now that gives a big tax break to people 65 and older. This break is frequently called the “Senior Freeze” and actually freezes assessments on homesteads for those who qualify. So, have you been the victim of frequent tax hikes through rising home prices? Have your assessments gone up even though home values have stayed the same or even gone down? Now there is something you can do about it.

Basics: The Senior Freeze is available for homeowners who are age 65 or older. If a married couple, then the age of the older person controls. So, if Mom is 60 and dad is 66, the Senior Freeze could be available for them. The real catch is that adjusted gross income must be below a certain point. If the homeowner has reported income over $71,563 (in 2015), then the freeze may not be available.

One interesting point about the Senior Freeze is that once you qualify, an increase in income will not be a problem. So, a sensible tactic for those who may be above the income limit is to wait for that one year where income as shown on your 1040 is below the limit. Apply for the Senior Freeze that year and you are locked in for life.

Call your parish tax assessor. They have the application form and can give you more details on the qualification process. Most parishes now require that you show them your last two years of 1040s.

Tip: the Senior Freeze applies to the tax assessment valuation on your principal residence only. It does not prevent tax rates from going up and it does not prevent new taxes from being applied to your residence.