Assessor Has Removed 4,393 Homestead Exemptions Since Beginning of 2022
NEW ORLEANS — From the Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office:
Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams has canceled 4,393 homestead exemptions since the beginning of last year.
Identifying and addressing cases of homestead exemption fraud has been an ongoing issue in Orleans Parish since the tax benefit was made permanent in 2013. While the majority of properties that had homestead exemptions removed were a result of change in ownership, a significant number are a result of investigations by Assessor’s Office staff and leads from the Clerk of Court, City of New Orleans Department of Safety and Permits Short-Term Rental Administration, Vital Records, the Legislative Auditor, the Office of the Inspector General, and citizen reports.
“Developing good communication and partnerships with engaged governmental agencies has really helped us in our fight against homestead exemption fraud,” said Assessor Erroll Williams. “People forget that a homestead exemption is a constitutional entitlement, so we have to be very careful and fully research each case of reported fraud. You can’t strip someone of a constitutional entitlement on a hunch.”
The total tally of exemptions canceled includes 428 instances where the property owner was found to be deceased, 165 cases of fraud related to a short-term rental license and 54 counts where the property owner claimed a homestead exemption in another state.
“We’re especially proud of the work we’ve done cracking down on cases of homestead exemption fraud related to an individual’s short term rental license,” said Williams. “Our own anonymous tip line, in concert with the leads we receive regularly from Safety and Permits, has allowed us to keep a very watchful eye on these properties and move swiftly in instances of suspected fraud.”
Article 7 Section 20 of the Louisiana Constitution provides for the homestead exemption, which is available to every person who owns and occupies a home in Orleans Parish as their primary residence (domicile). This exempts the first $75,000 of the home’s market value ($7,500 of assessed value) from taxation.
But when a property owner receives a homestead exemption for which they are not entitled, it is deemed to be non-compliant and an abuse of the law.
If you know of a property in Orleans Parish currently receiving a tax reduction from an exemption which you believe it should not be receiving, we urge you to report the abuse by calling the Exemption Fraud Hotline at (504) 754-8929.
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