8 proposed amendments to Louisiana Constitution explained
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Louisiana voters will go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 8 to decide on a number of issues, including eight proposed constitutional amendments.
They cover issues like taxes, state finances and slavery and indentured servitude.
Using the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana guide, here is the breakdown of each amendment:
Amendment 1 is proposing to modify the maximum amount of money in seven different trust funds to be invested in equities in the stock market.
By voting “yes,” you would allow the state to do just that: increase the money to 65% in those trust funds that can be invested in equities in the stock market.
By voting “no,” it would 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.
For Amendment 2, a vote of ”yes” would increase the property tax exemption available to veterans with service-related disabilities and to their surviving spouses after the veteran’s death.
A vote of “no” would maintain the current level of property tax exemption available to veterans with service-related disabilities and to their surviving spouses.
Amendment 3 has to do with civil service workers’ involvement with political campaigns when it comes to family members.
A “yes” 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.
A “no” vote would keep things as is, which means Louisiana’s civil service employees would not be allowed to participate in campaign activities or to support candidates for public office.
Amendment 4 proposes a change in how you are billed for your water usage.
If you select “yes,” you would let local water districts, municipalities and other political subdivisions reduce customer bills for water use if the charges stem from damage outside a customer’s control, like infrastructure.
If you select “no,” you would keep those entities from lowering or waiving customer’s water bills in almost all circumstances.
For Amendment 5, a “yes” would give local taxing bodies more time to decide whether they want to “roll forward” millages that increase property taxes paid by businesses and homeowners.
A “no” would keep the rules governing millage “roll forwards” the same. That gives local taxing bodies until the next property reappraisals to make the decision.
Amendment 6 applies to Orleans Parish; however, voters throughout Louisiana will vote on the issue.
If you vote “yes,” it would limit increases in the property tax liability of homes subject to homestead exemption in Orleans Parish. It would cap the reassessment increase to 10% of the property’s assessed value in the previous year.
If you vote “no,” 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%.
Amendment 7 is likely the most controversial and most talked-about amendment on the ballot.
The Louisiana Constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude in the state except when someone is convicted as a punishment for crime. This amendment would change that language in the state Constitution.
So a vote of “yes” would mean changing the language to allow slavery and involuntary servitude for the “otherwise lawful administration of criminal justice.” A vote of “no” would keep the current language.
Conflicting interpretations of the bill have raised concerns from the bill’s sponsor, who said his intent was to restrict the use of involuntary servitude, not broaden it. He has said he plans to oppose the amendment.
Amendment 8 looks to re-evaluate property tax assessments for people who have disabilities.
Voting in favor of the proposed amendment would remove the requirement that certain property owners with disabilities annually certify their income to receive a property tax rate freeze.
Voting against it would continue the annual income certification required for certain property owners with disabilities to receive a property tax rate freeze.
For further review, below is the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana’s guide to the eight proposed constitutional amendments (this document also includes proposals that will appear on Dec. 10 ballots):
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