Louisiana Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption Correction, Amendment 7 (2014)

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Amendment 7
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Constitution:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:Veterans
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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November 4
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Endorsements

The Louisiana Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption Correction, Amendment 7 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would empower parishes to grant veterans rated with 100 percent “unemployability” a homestead exemption of $150,000.[1][2]

Currently, most residents of Louisiana receive a $75,000 homestead exemption on property taxes.[2]

In 2010, voters passed Amendment 3, which gave parishes the ability to grant veterans rated with 100 percent “service-connected disability” a homestead exemption of $150,000. This created situations where disabled veterans had, for example, an 80 percent "service-connected disability" rating, but a 100 percent "unemployability" rating, and the veterans were not permitted to receive the tax exemption.[2] Amendment 7 is designed to resolve these types of situations.

The bill was sponsored in the legislature by State Senator Robert Adley (R-36) as Senate Bill 96.[1]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text reads as follows:[1]

Veterans Affairs, and their surviving spouses, shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation for up to one hundred fifty thousand dollars, and that a parishwide vote shall not be required to implement this change in qualification for the exemption?

(Amends Article VII, Section 21(K)(1) and (3))[3]

Constitutional changes

The proposed amendment would amend Section 21(K)(1) and (3) of Article VII of the Constitution of Louisiana:[4]

§21. Other Property Exemption

Section 21. In addition to the homestead exemption provided for in Section 20 of this Article, the following property and no other shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation:

(K)
(1) In On and after January 1, 2015, in addition to the homestead exemption authorized under the provisions of Article VII, Section 20 of this constitution, which applies to the first seven thousand five hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of property, the next seven thousand five hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of property receiving the homestead exemption that is owned and occupied by a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs shall be exempt from ad valorem taxation. The surviving spouse of a deceased veteran with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs shall be eligible for this exemption if the surviving spouse occupies and remains the owner of the property, whether or not the exemption was in effect on the property prior to the death of the veteran. If property eligible for the exemption provided for in this Paragraph has an assessed value in excess of fifteen thousand dollars, ad valorem property taxes shall apply to the assessment in excess of fifteen thousand dollars.
(3)
(a) The exemption provided for in this Paragraph shall only extend and apply in a parish only if it is established through an election which that shall be called by either an ordinance or a resolution from the parish governing authority. The proposition shall state that the exemption shall extend and apply in the parish and become effective only after the question of its adoption has been approved by a majority of the registered voters of the parish voting in an election held for that purpose.
(b) If a parish held an election as provided by this Subparagraph and the electors approved the exemption prior to November 4, 2014, the parish may implement the exemption as amended by the statewide electors on November 4, 2014, without holding an additional election.[3]


Support

The measure was introduced into the legislature by Sen. Robert Adley (R-36).[1]

Arguments

The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following is the council's argument in support:

This amendment is a good gesture of support for veterans. The impact on local taxing bodies would be minimal. In 2010, officials estimated approximately 2,000 homeowners in Louisiana would be eligible for the higher exemption. The estimated statewide impact if all parishes offered the new exemption was $2 million in lost annual local revenues, less than 0.1% of total property taxes collected statewide.

[3]

—Public Affairs Research Council[2]

Opposition

Arguments

The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following is the council's argument against:

Approval of this proposed amendment would erode the local tax base in parishes that have opted to extend the benefit. Although this expansion of the homestead exemption is relatively minor, the combination of this and other special homestead exemptions has a large impact on the local revenue base. While no single exemption is a significant problem, the trend toward creating more of these exceptions adds up to a negative impact and they should be stopped.

[3]

—Public Affairs Research Council[2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Louisiana Constitution

State Senator Robert Adley (R-36) introduced a bill to the legislature to alter the constitution and put the measure before voters on March 28, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. SB 96 was approved by the Louisiana House of Representatives on June 3, 2013. The amendment was approved by the Louisiana Senate on June 4, 2013.[5]

House vote

June 3, 2013 House vote

Louisiana SB 96 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 98 100.00%
No00.00%

Senate vote

June 4, 2013 Senate vote

Louisiana SB 96 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 38 100.00%
No00.00%

See also

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External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Louisiana Legislature, "Senate Bill No. 96," accessed January 16, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Public Affairs Research Council, "Guide to the 2014 Constitutional Amendments," accessed September 12, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named text
  5. Louisiana Legislature, "Bill Info - SB 96," accessed January 16, 2014