Oct 22, 2010 1:22 AM by Jim Hummel
Among the 10 constitutional amendments up for a vote November 2nd is one proposal being closely watched by local veterans. Amendment 3 would double Homestead Exemption for some disabled veterans and their spouses. It would make the first $150,000 in a home's value exempt from property taxes for veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 100%.
"It'll help me and it'll help any other veteran," said Gene Young, a disabled Vietnam War veteran from Eunice who has that 100% service-connected disability rating.
Although sympathetic to veterans like Young, the government watchdog group the Council for A Better Louisiana (CABL) has come out against the amendment.
"That exemption shields many property owners from taxes they would have to pay in virtually any other state in the country, and places a greater taxing burden on both large and small businesses that receive no such protection," CABL president Barry Erwin said in a written statement.
Erwin says Louisiana has some of best highest homestead tax breaks in the country and calls Amendment 3 an attempt by the state to micromanage local property tax collections.
"This is the latest attempt of many in the past and many more sure to come," said Erwin.
Veterans like Young are hoping voters will see the amendment in another light, and vote yes.
"Always vote to help a veteran, I ask you to do that for respect," said Young.
If Amendment 3 is approved in November it would not take effect right away. The vote on November 2nd is simply one to give parishes the option to put the issue on ballot at a later date.
Material from the Associated Press was included in this report.