Louisiana voters decided on six proposed changes to the state constitution.
Proposed Amendment No. 1: YES
Act 677 (2016 Regular Session) amends Article XI, Section 5. “Do you support an amendment to provide that the manner of appointment for the registrar of voters in each parish is as provided by law and to require the qualifications of the registrar to be provided by law?”
Translation: A vote for would establish new qualifications standards for registrars and more public disclosure in their hiring process.
Proposed Amendment No. 2: NO
Act 680 (2016 Regular Session) adds Article VIII, Section 7.2. “Do you support an amendment to authorize the postsecondary education management boards to establish the tuition and mandatory fee amounts charged by institutions under their supervision and management, without legislative approval?”
Translation: A vote for would allow higher education boards to set tuition rates and fee amounts without legislative approval.
Proposed Amendment No. 3: NO
Act 31 (2016 First Extraordinary Session) amends Article VII, Section 4(A). “Do you support an amendment to eliminate the deductibility of federal income taxes paid in computing state corporate income taxes?”
Translation: A vote for would eliminate the deduction for federal income taxes paid by corporations when calculating state income taxes while triggering a flat corporate tax rate of 6.5 percent.
Proposed Amendment No. 4: YES
Act 678 (2016 Regular Session) adds Article VII, Section 21(M). “Do you support an amendment to authorize an exemption from ad valorem property tax for the total assessed value of the homestead of an unmarried surviving spouse of a person who died while on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Louisiana National Guard, or while performing their duties as a state police, law enforcement, or fire protection officer?”
Translation: A vote for would give surviving spouses of members of law enforcement, military and fire fighters who died while on duty a full property tax exemption on their home.
Proposed Amendment No. 5: YES
Act 679 (2016 Regular Session) adds Article VII, Section 10(F)(4)(h), 10.15, and 10.16.“Do you support an amendment to establish the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund for the deposit of recurring mineral and corporate tax revenues, to restrict the use of the fund to 10 percent of the balance when the balance reaches $5 billion, to restrict the use of the fund to construction projects and transportation infrastructure, and to allocate recurring mineral revenues to the payment of state employee retirement debt?”
Translation: A vote for would create a fund to receive a portion of revenues from corporate and mineral taxes and to spend the money on infrastructure and pension liabilities rather than all of that revenue flowing into the state general fund.
Proposed Amendment No. 6: NO
Act 681 (2016 Regular Session) amends Article VII, Section 10(F)(2)(b); and adds Article VII, Section 10(F)(4)(h), (i), (j), (k), and (l)). “Do you support an amendment to authorize the use of up to five percent of current year appropriations or allocations from statutorily or certain constitutionally created funds or up to one percent of the current year’s balances in certain constitutionally created funds to eliminate a projected deficit in the next fiscal year if the official forecast for the next fiscal year is less than the official forecast for the current fiscal year or if the official forecast has been reduced by at least one percent from the most recently adopted estimate for the ensuing fiscal year, and to exempt certain funds and mandates from being used to eliminate a projected deficit?”
Translation: A vote for would provide legislators a new way to tap into constitutionally protected funds during revenue downturns and also extends protection to five existing funds.
(© 2017 WWL)