Three amendments fail across state; Iberville rejects all four

Staff Report

An amendment that will lower the maximum allowed rate of income taxes and allow the provision of a deduction for federal income taxes was the only of four proposals voters statewide approved Saturday, while Iberville nixed all four amid a meager voter turnout.

Roughly 2,500 registered voters – 11.8 percent – cast ballots in Iberville, while the statewide turnout totaled just under 14 percent.

Voters in Iberville and statewide gave a thumbs down to Amendment 1, which would have authorized a streamlined electronic filing, remittance and collection of sales and use taxes.

Amendment 1, perhaps the most controversial on the ballot, drew opposition from many parish officials across Louisiana who believed it would slow down dispersal of tax revenue to parish and local government.

In Iberville, 1,683 voters (65 percent) nixed the proposal and 876 approved. The margin was much tighter statewide, with 214,432 (52 percent) in favor of the plan and 199,291 (48 percent) against it.

Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso said he was never completely opposed to a centralized process, but the lack of transparency in the state plan turned him against it. 

“They never gave details on what the people would vote on in regard to how it would be effective, efficient and fair to all recipients,” he said Monday. “They wanted you to vote for the process, but never gave us the mechanism on how it would work, and that was the big point.

“I think the people don’t want the state dabbling with the constitution, but the most of it was that people wouldn’t have known the internal works if it passed,” Ourso said. “They wouldn’t have known about the collection and deliverables, and I don’t think the state did a very good job with collection agencies statewide to explain how this would work or do better.”

It also failed to take in consideration how many jobs would be lost if it passed, Ourso said.

“I have four people doing that, and three probably would’ve lost their job if it materialized,” he said. “Our people do a good job of seeing what it is owed to them.”

He said he believes the state will bring the proposal back to the voters.

“But they’re going to have to come back explain how they’ll do it,” Ourso said. 

AMENDMENT 2

Statewide voters approved Amendment 2, which would allow the providing of a deduction for federal taxes, but Iberville voters rejected the plan. The measure passed statewide with 223,369 in favor and 189,973, while 1,436 parish voters (57 percent) opposed it and 1,068 approved.

AMENDMENT 3

The proposal that would allow certain levee districts to levy an annual tax for certain purposes failed both locally and statewide. A total of 237,605 voters (58 percent) nixed the plan statewide and 172,545 (42 percent) opposed.

The proposition had no impact on the Atchafalaya Basin Levee District.

In Iberville, 1,789 voters rejected the measure and 708 approved it.

AMENDMENT 4

An overwhelming majority rejected the amendment that would have increased the amount of allowed to certain dedicated funds when a budget deficit is projected.

A total of 294,375 voters (72 percent) opposed it and 112,390 (28 percent) approved.

A similar margin prevailed in Iberville, where 2,003 voters (80 percent) opposed the amendment proposition and 489 (20 percent) approved.