18. Ad Valorem Taxes

Section 18.(A) Assessments. Property subject to ad valorem taxation shall be listed on the assessment rolls at its assessed valuation, which, except as provided in Paragraphs (C) and (G), shall be a percentage of its fair market value. The percentage of fair market value shall be uniform throughout the state upon the same class of property.

(B) Classification. The classifications of property subject to ad valorem taxation and the percentage of fair market value applicable to each classification for the purpose of determining assessed valuation are as follows:



1. Land 


2. Improvements for residential purposes 


3. Electric cooperative properties, excluding land


4. Public service properties; excluding land


5. Other property


The legislature may enact laws defining electric cooperative properties and public service properties.

(C) Use Value. Bona fide agricultural, horticultural, marsh, and timber lands, as defined by general law, shall be assessed for tax purposes at ten percent of use value rather than fair market value. The legislature may provide by law similarly for buildings of historic architectural importance.

(D) Valuation. Each assessor shall determine the fair market value of all property subject to taxation within his respective parish or district except public service properties, which shall be valued at fair market value by the Louisiana Tax Commission or its successor. Each assessor shall determine the use value of property which is to be so assessed under the provisions of Paragraph (C). Fair market value and use value of property shall be determined in accordance with criteria which shall be established by law and which shall apply uniformly throughout the state.

(E) Review. The correctness of assessments by the assessor shall be subject to review first by the parish governing authority, then by the Louisiana Tax Commission or its successor, and finally by the courts, all in accordance with procedures established by law.

(F) Reappraisal. All property subject to taxation shall be reappraised and valued in accordance with this Section, at intervals of not more than four years.

(G)(1) Special Assessment Level.

(a)(i) The assessment of residential property receiving the homestead exemption which is owned and occupied by any person or persons sixty-five years of age or older and who meet all of the other requirements of this Section shall not be increased above the total assessment of that property for the first year that the owner qualifies for and receives the special assessment level.

(ii) Any person or persons shall be prohibited from receiving the special assessment as provided in this Section if such person or persons' adjusted gross income, as reported in the federal tax return for the year prior to the application for the special assessment, exceeds fifty thousand dollars. For persons applying for the special assessment whose filing status is married filing separately, the adjusted gross income for purposes of this Section shall be determined by combining the adjusted gross income on both federal tax returns. Beginning for the tax year 2001, and for each tax year thereafter, the fifty thousand dollar limit shall be adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index as reported by the United States Government.

(iii) An eligible owner shall apply for the special assessment level by filing a signed application establishing that the owner qualifies for the special assessment level with the assessor of the parish or, in the parish of Orleans, the assessor of the district where the property is located.

(b) Any millage rate applied to the special assessment level shall not be subject to a limitation.

(2) The special assessment level shall remain on the property as long as:

(a) That owner, or that owner's surviving spouse who is fifty-five years of age or older or who has minor children, remains the owner of the property.

(b) The value of the property does not increase more than twenty-five percent because of construction or reconstruction.

(3) A new or subsequent owner of the property may claim a special assessment level when eligible under this Section. The new owner is not necessarily entitled to the same special assessment level on the property as when that property was owned by the previous owner.

(4)(a) The special assessment level on property that is sold shall automatically expire on the last day of December in the year prior to the year that the property is sold. The property shall be immediately revalued at fair market value by the assessor and shall be assessed by the assessor on the assessment rolls in the year it was sold at the assessment level provided for in Article VII, Section 18 of the Constitution of Louisiana.

(b) This new assessment level shall remain in effect until changed as provided by this Section or this Constitution.

Amended by Acts 1979, No. 799, 1, approved Oct. 27, 1979, eff. Dec. 1, 1979; Acts 1997, No. 1491, 1, approved Oct. 3, 1998, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2002, No. 87, 1, approved Nov. 5, 2002, eff. Dec. 11, 2002.