It has always been illegal to claim more than one homestead exemption in Louisiana, but starting Aug. 1, it will for the first time be a crime.How many whole home short term rental owners are currently claiming homestead exemptions on their rental property? I would wager it's a lot.
Orleans Parish Assessor Erroll Williams sent out a news release Thursday pointing out that the Legislature recently passed a law, Act 437, establishing a penalty of a $500 fine and up to six months in jail for claiming two or more exemptions. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed it.
The homestead exemption makes the first $75,000 of the value of a homeowner’s principal residence, or “domicile,” exempt from most property taxes. Disabled veterans may be eligible for a $150,000 exemption. Some people claim exemptions on vacation or second homes deliberately or because they don’t understand the law. Others neglect to cancel an old exemption when they move to a new home but still own the old property, or because of legal complications such as a divorce.
Whatever the reason, it’s now a crime to try to double-dip. But it’s likely to be a cold day in July before a judge actually sends anyone to the pokey for six months because they do it.
Monday, July 11, 2016
The Advocate doesn't seem very impressed with the idea that this will ever be enforced, but as Airbnb enters the realm of legal acceptance, it could be a big revenue generator.