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On the ballot, property tax exemptions for first responders

8 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago Monday, November 06 2023 Nov 6, 2023 November 06, 2023 10:34 PM November 06, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - On the Louisiana runoff ballot is Constitutional amendment three. The measure introduced by New Orleans Senator Royce Duplessis is aimed at supporting first responders with a new homestead exemption increase. 

Duplessis believes the amendment will help first responder recruitment across the state. 

Louisiana homes are assessed at 10 percent of fair market value. Seven thousand five hundred dollars of assessed value is exempt from property taxes. If approved, amendment three tacks on $2,500 to the exemption for firefighters, police, sheriff's deputies and other qualifying first responders.

Livingston Parish Fire District five Chief Joe Koczrowski says the addition could be a huge help, especially for volunteer firefighters. 

"Any little bit that they can get back, and we can get back off our taxes or anywhere else in the community, is a big plus for the firemen," Koczrowski said.

The catch is first responders need to live in the parish they serve to qualify for the exemption. Exemptions would also need to be approved on a parish-by-parish basis.

Considering current expensive costs due to inflation, Koczrowski says he's hopeful the measure passes. 

"Wages do not keep up with inflation, especially right now," he said. "When you've got an eight, nine percent inflation, and you've got a three percent pay raise, you're going backwards."

The legislature-referred amendment passed in the Senate 35-1 and 98-1 in the House of Representatives. 

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