In 2021, the Louisiana Legislature passed nine new constitutional amendments. The good news for voters is that only four of them are on the ballot for this year, though they all deal with issues of substance. Two amendments are part of major tax reforms that policy groups and task forces have been discussing for years. The others deal with avoiding major budget shortfalls and funding for some levee districts. CABL recommends that voters support all four of the amendments.
As we have noted before, Louisiana sometimes seems to binge when it comes to adding new amendments to the constitution. In many cases these amendments are not needed and only serve to lengthen the size of our constitution which has grown significantly since 1974.
But in other cases, amendments are needed to make desirable policy changes because they deal with matters that are already in the constitution. That is the case with the four amendments on the ballot this year. We have studied and analyzed each of them and believe they are deserving of voter support.
Amendment # 1 Centralized Sales Tax Collection
Creates a commission to develop a streamlined electronic filing, remittance, and tax collection system for state and local sales taxes and provides tax policy advice and guidance on audit practices.
Amendment #2 Individual and Corporate Income Tax Rates
Lowers individual and corporate income tax rates by eliminating or adjusting current tax deductions in a way that is generally revenue neutral to the state and taxpayers.
Amendment #3 Property Tax Assessments for Certain Levee Districts
Provides local levee districts created after 2016 the authority given to districts created prior to that of levying a property tax of up to 5 mills to fund operations and maintenance.
Amendment #4 Avoiding State Budget Deficits
Increases the amount that can be cut from dedicated funds from 5% to 10% to avoid a budget deficit in certain circumstances.
A more detailed explanation of each amendment and our rationale for supporting them can be found here on the CABL website.
This year’s elections have been delayed a month because of the impacts of Hurricane Ida. Early voting is now set for October 30 through November 6, and Election Day is November 13.