NEW ORLEANS— Constitutional Amendment 6 on the ballot reads: Proposed constitutional amendment increases the income threshold for qualifying for the special assessment level for residential property receiving the homestead exemption from $50,000 adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index to $100,000 with this amount being adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index beginning in tax year 2026.
Rep. Stephanie Hilferty (R- Metairie) sponsored the original bill and she says, “What Amendment number 6 addresses is senior citizens 65 and older can apply for an age freeze on their homestead exempted properties. That’s their primary residence. Current law if they make $77,030 or less.”
The amendment moves the exemption up $100,000.00 for seniors, disabled veterans ans others in the protected class. According to Hilferty some seniors aren’t retiring at 65 but want more certainty in their expenses.
“We have many seniors who have dual income households, so this is to give those seniors as their approaching retirement a little bit more breathing room, “said Hilferty.
While no one can argue with giving benefits to the disabled and seniors, a byproduct of passing Amendment 6 is less revenue to pay for city services.
Errol Williams, New Orleans Tax Assessor said, “Keep in mind that the revenue picture has never kept pace with the expenditure side. The cost of living continues to go up, and the revenues do go up at the same rate. When you add more people to the plate, you’re taking them off the tax rolls. The people who are left on the plate those are the ones who pick up the compensation. Anytime you exempt a piece of property, the people who are still left paying they copmpensate for that loss of revenue.”