Parish, state vote along same lines on amendments

Staff Report

Five of seven state constitutional amendments drew statewide voter approval on the Nov. 3 ballot, and Iberville Parish voted along the same lines on all amendments that passed.

Parish voters followed the path with the state on approval the abortion amendment, an increase on maximum amounts to qualify for special assessments on homestead exemption and creation of an unclaimed property permanent trust fund.

The Iberville electorate also joined voters statewide on rejection of an amendment to limit the growth of the expenditure limit for the state general fund, along with the proposal that would allow local governments to enter into cooperative endeavor tax exemption agreements with new or expanding manufacturing establishments for payments in lieu of taxes.

Here’s the results on the amendments:

Amendment 1 (Abortion): The amendment passed statewide with 1,274,112 (62 percent) in favor and 778,972 in opposition, while Iberville Parish had 9,151 (59 percent) in favor and 6,417 against it.

The amendment will have no immediate effect but will limit any future state judicial interpretation that might otherwise find a right to abortion, according to the Public Affairs Research Council

Amendment 2 (Valuation of oil and gas well): The proposition passed statewide with 1,158,709 votes (58 percent) and 827,491 against it. In Iberville, a total of 7,801 (52 percent) parish voters approved it, while 7,269 opposed.

The amendment will allow production of an oil or gas well to be included in the methods to determine fair market value for purpose of ad valorem or property taxes.

Amendment 3 (Budget Stabilization Fund for natural disasters declared by state and federal government): The measure passed statewide with 1,097,143 (53 percent) in favor and 885,279 against it. In Iberville, 8,274 (55 percent) approved and 6,761 favored it.

The measure will allow the state to tap into the fund in federally declared disasters, such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes.   

Amendment 4 (Limit to growth of the expenditure limit to the state general fund): A total of 1,079,571 votes statewide (56 percent) killed the proposal, while 856,258 supported it. In Iberville, 8,945 (61 percent) voted against it and 5,821 (39 percent) approved.

The amendment would have allowed for creation of a new state budget spending limit, with probable slower growth in state government.

Amendment 5 (Cooperative endeavor for new or expanding businesses in lieu of taxes): The proposal failed statewide on rejection by 1,221,197 (63 percent) and 727,344 (37 percent) in favor. Iberville also trounced it, with 9,914 (67 percent) opposing and 4,906 (33 percent) in favor.

The amendment would have provided new options for manufacturers and local governments to schedule payments instead of property taxes for industrial expansions.

Amendment 6 (Increase in limit for homestead exemption): A statewide total of 1,225,628 voters (62 percent) approved the measure and 745,995 rejected it. In Iberville, 8,477 (57 percent) and 6,451 (43 percent) opposed.

The amendment will allow homeowners with higher incomes to qualify for the property tax assessment freeze, which goes to homeowners of certain income levels who are 65 or older, or who are disabled veterans, surviving spouses of military members killed in action and the totally disabled. Only primary residences qualify for the freeze.

Amendment 7 (Creation of the Louisiana Unclaimed Property Permanent Trust Fund): Across Louisiana, a total of 1,267,362 (64 percent) approved and 702,900 opposed. In Iberville, 8832 (59 percent) favored it and 6,081 (41 percent) opposed.

The amendment will constitutionally protect owners of unclaimed property by stating the funds are private property and only held in trust until the owner makes a claim.