Amendment 1 would create a property tax exemption for certain equipment, raw materials and goods used on the Outer Continental Shelf. That’s about 200 miles off the Louisiana coast, beyond the state’s jurisdiction, so this primarily involves items used in offshore energy exploration and production.
Amendment 1 supporters say the exemption is needed to clear up confusion because some tax assessors have started to include the equipment and goods in their valuations. Without the exemption, they say oil-and-gas companies could move their assets out of state.
Opponents say yet another tax exemption would limit revenue for local governments.
Louisiana created an Education Excellence Fund in 1999. Its money goes to public and private schools, and the Legislature can add schools that aren’t part of a local system. Amendment 2 would add three more lawmaker-authorized schools to the list. It would also allow the fund to be used for educational television programming on Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Proponents say the three schools – Southern Lab, University Lab and Thrive Academy – merit inclusion when it comes to the Education Excellence Fund. Detractors say Amendment 2 would add more clutter to the state charter. They argue that the Legislature or state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education should be given oversight of the funding instead.
Citizens or businesses with local or state tax disputes (other than property taxes) take their cases to the Board of Tax Appeals. It’s a three-member executive branch panel that can consider matters dealing with taxes or fees. But if someone challenges the constitutionality of a tax, the case must be heard in state court.
Amendment 3 would allow the Board of Tax Appeals to consider cases involving constitutionality. Its backers point to other states that have already streamlined their tax dispute processes, and they want Louisiana to follow suit. Opponents say giving such authority to the board blurs the lines between the executive and judicial branch. Plus, they fear any constitutional rulings would be appealed to the courts, eliminating any time saved by streamlining.
New Orleans is looking for ways to promote affordable housing investment in the city, and supporters ofAmendment 4say its passage could make a difference. The proposal would create a tax exemption for apartment buildings with 15 or fewer units that include listings with affordable rents. The tax break would encourage developers to build new structures and renovate existing ones, according to proponents.
Opponents consider it a bad idea to add more tax exemptions in New Orleans, which is already clamoring for more resources to fund public services and infrastructure. They say approving Amendment 4 would heighten the need for new and increased taxes elsewhere.
Polls open at 7 a.m. Saturday and close at 8 p.m. You can watch complete election returns starting at 8 p.m. on WDSU.
- Ralph Abraham, R
- Oscar "Omar" Dantzler, D
- John Bel Edwards, D
- Gary Landrieu, I
- Patrick "Live Wire" Landry, R
- "Eddie" Rispone, R
Read about the governor's race below:
- Our Views: The Times-Picayune endorses John Bel Edwards for a second term as governor
- Sexual harassment claims dominating Louisiana governor's race in final days before election
- Abraham vs. Rispone
- Willie Jones, D
- William "Billy" Nungesser, R
Secretary of State
- Kyle Ardoin, R
- "Gwen" Collins-Greenup, D
- Thomas J. Kennedy III, R
- Amanda "Jennings" Smith, R
- "Ike" Jackson Jr., D
- "Jeff" Landry, R
- Derrick Edwards, D
- Teresa Kenny, N
- John M. Schroder, R
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry
- Marguerite Green, D
- "Charlie" Greer, D
- Michael G. "Mike" Strain, R
- Peter Williams, D
- Bradley Zaunbrecher, R
Commissioner of Insurance
- James J. "Jim" Donelon, R
- "Tim" Temple, R