ELECTIONS

Louisiana voters to decide on constitutional amendments on Nov. 8 ballot

Staff Report

Voters on back-to-back election cycles will decide the fate of constitutional amendments on issues ranging from tax exemptions for disabled veterans to municipal water fees.

Eight amendments will go before voters on the Nov. 8, ballot.

Three additional proposals will be decided on the Dec. 10 ballot.

Here’s a look at the proposed amendments, as explained by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a private, nonpartisan public policy research organization. 

NOV. 8 BALLOT

Amendment 1: Do you support an amendment to increase to 65 percent the cap on the amount of money in certain state funds that may be invested in stocks?

For: The proposal would allow the state to invest up to 65 percent of the maximum amount of money in seven trust funds that can be invested in equities on the stock market.

Against: The proposal would keep tighter limits 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 property tax exemptions for property on which the homestead exemption is claimed for veterans with disabilities?

For: It would increase the property tax exemption available to veterans with service-related disabilities and to their surviving spouses after the veteran’s death.

Against: It would 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?

For: It would 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.

Against: It would 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?

For: It would allow local water districts, municipalities or other political subdivisions to reduce customer bills for water use if the charges stem from water lost due to damage outside a customer’s control.

Against: It would keep local water districts, municipalities and other political subdivisions from lowering bills or waiving customer charges for water use in almost all circumstance.

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?

For: It will give local taxing bodies more time to decide if they want to “roll forward” millages that increase property taxes paid by businesses and homeowners.

Against: It would 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?

For: It would allow increases in the property tax liability of homes subject to homestead exemption in Orleans Parish, capping the reassessment increase to 10 percent of the residential property’s assessed value in the previous year.

Against: It would 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 percent.

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?

For: It would rework the state constitutional ban on slavery and involuntary servitude, allowing their use only for the “lawful administration of criminal justice.”

Against: It would 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 re-certify their income to keep their special assessment level on their residences for property tax purposes”

For: It would remove the requirement that certain property owners with disabilities annually certify their income to receive a property tax rate freeze.

Against: It would continue the annual income certification required for certain property owners with disabilities to receive a property tax rate freeze.

DEC. 10 BALLOT

Amendment 1: Do you support an amendment to provide that no person who is not a citizen of the United States shall be allowed to register and vote in this state?

For: It would ban people who aren’t U.S. citizens from registering to vote or casting ballots in Louisiana elections.

Against: It would keep current language governing voting rights, which requires a person to be a Louisiana resident to register to vote or cast ballots in elections

Amendment 2: Do you support an amendment to make appointed members of the State Civil Service Commission subject to confirmation by the Louisiana Senate?

For: It would require Louisiana Senate confirmation of the governor’s appointees to the state Civil Service Commission.

Against: It would continue to let the governor appoint members to the state Civil Service Commission without needing confirmation of those choices from the Louisiana Senate.

Amendment 3: “Do you support an amendment to make appointed members of the State Police Commission subject to confirmation by the Louisiana Senate?”

For: It would require Louisiana Senate confirmation of the governor’s appointees to the State Police Commission.

Against: It would continue to let the governor appoint members to the State Police Commission without needing confirmation of those choices from the Louisiana Senate.