ASCENSION – Homeowners in Ascension still impacted by the August flood could be in for a tax break this year.
The break could be welcomed by homeowners like Richard Prince, who operates a small business that customizes in 18-wheelers. The business is located on the property where he lives.
However, a concrete slab is all that remains on his property following the flood. It was the second time that his home flooded and he says that he is not going to rebuild.
"I don't see taking a chance on putting all this money back into it and watching it flood again," Prince said.
Prince has been living in a small trailer on his property and now plans on buying a double-wide mobile home.
Ascension Parish Tax Assessor Mert Smiley says that homeowners like Prince will not have to pay any property taxes for 2017.
"Because they are not living in their house and I know what they are going through and in government, we try to help people as much as we can," Smiley said.
Smiley said that he will be sending out a team of employees to track down others like Prince who have not been able to move back into their homes following the flood.
"That's the reason we are going out and making this evaluation because we can make sure that we have the accurate information. I don't want to send somebody a tax bill if they are not in their homes," Smiley said.
Smiley said that homeowners who have made some repairs will pay taxes based only on the percentage of work that is completed. The door-to-door surveys will continue until all 6,100 flood-damaged properties in the parish have been contacted.
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