On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Louisiana residents will not only make their choice as to who they want to lead local, state and federal positions but also make a decision on eight state of Louisiana constitutional amendments. I an effort to assist you with knowing what a vote for or against each admendment means the following descriptions have been provided by the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office and the PAR Louisiana’s constitutional amendment guide.
Amendment 1: Do you support an amendment to increase to 65% the cap on the amount of monies in certain state funds that may be invested in stocks?
A vote yes: Lets the state increase to 65% the maximum amount of money in seven different trust funds that can be invested in equities on the stock market.
A vote no: Keep tighter limits in place on the percentage of the trust funds’ money that can be invested in the stock market, with some unable to be invested in equities at all.
Amendment 2: Do you support an amendment to expand certain property tax exemptions for property on which the homestead exemption is claimed for certain veterans with disabilities?
A vote yes: Increase the property tax exemption available to veterans with service-related disabilities and to their surviving spouses after the veteran’s death.
A vote no: Maintain the current level of property tax exemption available to veterans with service-related disabilities and to their surviving spouses.
Amendment 3: Do you support an amendment to allow classified civil service employees to support the election to public office of members of their own families?
A vote yes: Allow most of Louisiana’s civil service employees to support certain campaign activities of a candidate for public office when that candidate is an immediate family member.
A vote no: Continue the current prohibition on Louisiana’s civil service employees participating in campaign activities or supporting candidates for public office.
Amendment 4: Do you support an amendment to allow local governments to waive water charges that are the result of damage to the water system not caused by the customer?
A vote yes: Let local water districts, municipalities or other political subdivisions reduce customer bills for water use if the charges stem from water lost due to damage outside a customer’s control.
A vote no: Keep local water districts, municipalities and other political subdivisions from lowering bills or waiving customer charges for water use in almost all circumstances.
Amendment 5: Do you support an amendment to allow the levying of a lower millage rate by a local taxing authority while maintaining the authority’s ability to adjust to the current authorized millage rate?
A vote yes: Give local taxing bodies more time to decide if they want to “roll forward” millages that increase property taxes paid by businesses and homeowners.
A vote no: Keep the rules governing millage “roll forwards” the same, giving local taxing bodies until the next property reappraisals to make the decision.
Amendment 6: Do you support an amendment to limit the amount of an increase in the assessed value of residential property subject to the homestead exemption in Orleans Parish following reappraisal at ten percent of the property’s assessed value in the previous year?
A vote yes: Limit increases in the property tax liability of homes subject to homestead exemption in Orleans Parish, capping the reassessment increase to 10% of the residential property’s assessed value in the previous year.
A vote no: Continue the current system, which requires a four-year phase-in of tax liability for homes subject to the homestead exemption when a reappraisal increases assessments by more than 50%.
Amendment 7: Do you support an amendment to prohibit the use of involuntary servitude except as it applies to the otherwise lawful administration of criminal justice?
A vote yes: Rework the state constitutional ban on slavery and involuntary servitude, allowing their use only for the lawful administration of criminal justice.
A vote no: Keep the state’s current constitutional language banning slavery and involuntary servitude but allowing involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime.
Amendment 8: Do you support an amendment to remove the requirement that homeowners who are permanently totally disabled must annually recertify their income to keep their special assessment level on their residences for property tax purposes?
A vote yes: Remove the requirement that certain property owners with disabilities annually certify their income to receive a property tax rate freeze.
A vote no: Continue the annual income certification required for certain property owners with disabilities to receive a property tax rate freeze.