The Louisiana State Legislature adjourned its 2021 session on June 10, 2021. It referred two constitutional amendments to the 2021 ballot and seven to the 2022 ballot.
The Louisiana Constitution limits legislation and constitutional amendments in odd-numbered years to matters concerning the state’s budget, government finance, and taxation.
The two 2021 constitutional amendments will be on the statewide ballot on October 9, 2021. In odd-numbered years from 1999 to 2019, 52 constitutional amendments appeared on the statewide ballot in Louisiana, of which, 36 (69.23%) were approved and 16 (30.77%) were defeated. There was an average of 4.7 amendments on odd-year ballots from 1999 through 2019.
Louisiana Changes to Taxing Authority of Levee Districts Amendment (2021):
The Louisiana Constitution authorizes levee districts, with district voter approval, to impose a tax of up to five mills ($5 per $1,000 of assessed value) for the purpose of constructing and maintaining levees. This amendment would remove the voter approval requirement for levee districts created between January 1, 2006, and October 9, 2021, and that vote in favor of this amendment in October. Levee districts created after October 9, 2021, would require voter approval to levy a tax.
The Board of Levee Commissioners of the Orleans Levee District may impose a tax of up to two and a half mills ($2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value). Voter approval is not required in this district. This constitutional amendment would not affect the Orleans Levee District.
Louisiana Increase Limit on Funding Reductions and Redirections During Budget Deficits Amendment (2021):
The amendment would increase from 5% to 10% the funds that can be redirected to a purpose other than what was originally provided for by law or as stated in the constitution during a projected budget deficit.
During the 2021 legislative session, the Louisiana Legislature referred seven constitutional amendments to November 8, 2022 ballot. In even-numbered years from 2000 to 2020, 96 constitutional amendments appeared on the statewide ballot in Louisiana, of which, 69 (71.88%) were approved and 27 (28.13%) were defeated. There was an average of 8.7 amendments on even-year ballots from 2000 through 2020. The legislature can refer additional amendments to the ballot in 2022.
Louisiana Adjustment of Ad Valorem Tax Rates Amendment (2022):
Currently, the state constitution provides for the adjustment of ad valorem tax rates up to the maximum authorized rate in effect the prior year. The maximum authorized rate is adjusted every four years in a statewide reassessment and may also be adjusted if the homestead exemption change.
The amendment would provide that ad valorem tax rates can be increased by a two-thirds vote of a taxing authority up to the maximum rate allowed by the constitution until the authorized rate expires.
Louisiana Reduction of the Maximum Individual Income Tax Rate Amendment (2022):
The amendment would decrease the maximum individual income tax rate from 6% to 4.75% for tax years beginning in 2022. The tax brackets for an individual would be 2% on the first $12,500 of net income, 4% on the next net income up to $37,500, and 4.75% on income above $50,000. The amendment would permit, (instead of require) a deduction for federal income taxes paid.
Louisiana Waiving Water Charges Amendment (2022):
The Louisiana Constitution currently prohibits the state or any local government from “loaning, pledging, or donating its funds, credit, property, or things of value,” though it provides certain exceptions. The amendment would add a new exception to this requirement in order to allow local governments to waive water charges for customers if water is lost due to water delivery infrastructure damages if such damages are not caused by the customer’s actions or the customer’s failure to act.
Louisiana Limit on Assessed Value Increase of Reappraised Property in Orleans Parish Amendment (2022):
The amendment would limit the increase in the assessed value of residential property in Orleans Parish to 10% of the property’s assessed value from the prior year. The effective date of the amendment is January 1, 2023.
Louisiana Increase Maximum Amount Invested in Equities for Certain State Funds Amendment (2022):
The amendment would increase the portion of money in certain state funds that could be invested in equities (stocks) from 35% to 65%. The increase would apply to the following funds:
1. Louisiana Education Quality Trust Fund;
2. Artificial Reef Development Fund;
3. Lifetime License Endowment Trust Fund;
4. Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge Trust and Protection Fund; and
5. Russell Sage or Marsh Island Refuge Fund.
The amendment would also remove a provision in the constitution that limits the legislature’s ability to increase the amount of money in the Millennium Trust that may be invested in stock and instead allows the legislature to provide for investments by general law.
Louisiana Creation of the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission Amendment (2022):
The amendment would create the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission. The commission would have eight members. The role of the commission would be to provide streamlined electronic filing and remittance of all sales and use taxes. It would also be responsible for promulgating rules related to all sales and use taxes levied by any taxing authority in the state. The administration of the commission would be funded by sales and use tax revenue. The amendment would require the state legislature to enact any laws related to the duties and funding of the commission. The commission would replace the Louisiana Sales and Use Tax Commission for Remote Sellers and the Louisiana Uniform Local Sales Tax Board after one year with all employees transferred to the new commission.
Louisiana Classified Civil Service Employee Public Support of Family Members’ Campaigns Amendment (2022):
The amendment would allow civil service employees to publicly support the election campaigns of individuals in their immediate family when off duty.
Click here for vote totals for each amendment broken down by political party.