Freezing property assessment, beneficial?
By Katherine Miller
THE POST SIGNAL
CROWLEY – When it comes to owning property many people may be unaware of the different options and benefits reassessment may bring. For example, freezing the value on these assets may be a wise option for the elderly.
Russel Benoit, Acadia Parish tax assessor, explains that there are, in fact, benefits for those elderly who are on the lower income end in having the value of the property frozen. “This type of freeze is very beneficial to those who qualify, which are those who are age 65 and above, and whose incomes may not exceed $62,180. Those senior citizens who opt to freeze the value of their property may benefit greatly, because their property value remains at the same level for the remainder of their lives,” Benoit stated.
To begin with, there are three types of property a person may own. The first type is called real property, and includes land, improvements to the land and all rights inherent in ownership. When you receive an assessment, land improvements are listed separately. Personal property includes any property that is not real property, and any property that is not permanently affixed to part of real estate, including cars, boats, and business assets. The third of these is intangible property, which includes copyrights and patents.
Typically, each person’s property is reassessed in every odd-numbered year, and personal property is assessed each year. During even years, only properties that have been renovated or reconstructed, are adjusted to a new and higher value. The total value of a property is based upon the market conditions as of January 1 of the preceding year. Once the estimate of market value has been determined, the assessor calculates a percentage of that value to arrive at assessed value. The percentage is based on classification and is determined by the type of property it is or how it is used. The breakdown of assessments is as follows: Under the real estate category, residential equals 19 percent, agricultural equals 12 percent, commercial and all other types of property equals 32 percent. Personal property, cars, boats, and other equal 33.3 percent, farm equipment and livestock account for 12 percent, historic autos equal 5 percent, and grain equals one half of all property.
“The books for this year’s freeze assessments will close on Monday, June 30. Each year, of course, the re-appraisal value goes up,” said Benoit. For further information, you may contact the tax assessor’s office at 788-8871, or visit their website at www.acadiaassessor.org.