Four amendments on weekend ballot

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Voters throughout the state will be asked to decide on four proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution on the October 12 ballot. This year’s lineup is especially challenging, as the PAR guide to the four amendments in question call them “among the more arcane proposals citizens have faced yet.” The guide, available for free at www.parlouisiana.org, was used extensively in compiling this information.

Amendment 1: Offshore Goods Property Tax Exemption

Currently, businesses and homeowners pay property tax to local governments based on the assessed value of their property on an annual basis. The Constitution allows certain exceptions, such as homestead exemptions for homeowners and the Industrial Tax Exemption Program for manufacturers.

Businesses have interpreted current law to exclude from taxation property stored in Louisiana but destined for the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) such as offshore drilling equipment. In the Gulf of Mexico, the OCS is roughly the area in United States waters, 200 miles beyond the state jurisdiction, which in Louisiana is three miles. Some local assessors have started to assess certain equipment and other property headed to the OCS. It is based on their interpretation of the state Constitution and rulings related to interstate commerce. No specific ruling has been made by either the Louisiana or U.S. Supreme Court to clarify the issue of property destined for the OCS.

 

 

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