NewsCovering Louisiana


What are those amendments about?

Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 19:07:02-04

Time is closing in to vote early in the October 12 election.

Voters will decide on four proposed constitutional amendments when they cast their ballot.

The amendments deal with tax exemptions and appeals, affordable housing and school funding.

Proposed amendment number one is asking voters if they support and amendment to exempt raw materials, goods, commodities, personal property and other articles stored in public and private warehouses and destined for the outer continental shelf from ad valorem taxes.

This amendment is intended to clarify whether local and state tax collectors can charge companies property tax on things being stored here before they are needed offshore.

A yes vote would exempt those supplies from property taxes while in storage, as long as they are destined for the outer continental shelf.
A no vote would allow local and state officials to collect the tax.

Proposed amendment number two would add additional schools to the educational excellence fund.

The current fund was created in 1999 and is distributed only to 153 public schools and 43 private schools.

A yes vote would add three Baton Rouge schools and the Louisiana Educational Television Authority to the list of groups that are funded.
A no vote means those three schools and public TV will not be added to the list of fund recipients.

Proposed amendment number three deals with the Board of Tax Appeals jurisdiction.

This amendment would let taxpayers have their entire tax dispute heard in one forum and could expedite resolution. The board of decisions could be appealed to state courts. Taxpayers still would have the option to take their case to the courts instead of the board of appeals.

A yes vote would allow the board of tax appeals to rule on constitutional questions.
A no vote would continue to assign constitutional questions in tax disputes only to the courts.

Proposed amendment number four focuses on the tax exemptions for affordable housing in New Orleans.

The amendment would grant the city of New Orleans the ability to establish property tax exemptions for residential properties that provide affordable housing. The exact definition of affordable housing would be left to the city to decide.

A yes vote would give New Orleans the power to create a residential property tax exemption for affordable housing developments.
A no vote would keep the current property tax structure in New Orleans.

The Public Affairs Research Council has posted details about what each means, as well as arguments for and against each amendment. PAR may be best known for its easy to use citizen's card , which lets Louisiana residents know their rights under public records and open meetings laws, but PAR also provides educational guides on a variety of subjects, including proposed amendments.

You can read the guide here.