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Louisiana Natural Resource Severance Taxes, Amendment 2 (2010)

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Louisiana Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIV
The Louisiana Natural Resource Severance Taxes, Amendment 2, also known as Act 541, was on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.

The measure proposed decreasing the amount of taxes retained by the state on the severance of natural resources.[1]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Louisiana Amendment 2 (2010)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 663,032 58%
No477,38442%

Official results via Louisiana Elections Division.

Text of measure

To decrease the amount of taxes retained by the state on the severance of natural resources, other than sulphur, lignite, and timber, and to increase the maximum amount of such revenues which are remitted to the parish governing authority from where the severance occurs, to be implemented in the event that the official forecast of severance tax revenues for any fiscal year includes an estimate for severance tax collections which will exceed that actually collected by the state in Fiscal Year 2008-2009; to change the annual maximum amount to be remitted to a parish governing authority from eight hundred fifty thousand dollars to one million eight hundred fifty thousand dollars for the first fiscal year of implementation, which amount would increase to two million eight hundred fifty thousand dollars for the following and subsequent fiscal years; to provide for annual adjustment of the maximum amounts in accordance with the consumer price index; to require that of the revenues received by a parish governing authority under these provisions, that portion which is in excess of the amount of such revenues received in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 be used within the parish for the same purposes as monies received from the Parish Transportation Fund; to require that of the severance taxes and royalty revenues retained by the state from activity on state lands within the Atchafalaya Basin, up to ten million dollars per year be deposited into a special fund created in the state treasury to be known as the Atchafalaya Basin Conservation Fund; to provide that monies in this fund be used exclusively for conservation, improvement, and management of the Atchafalaya Basin in accordance with formal state and federal plans; to require legislative approval for and specific limitations on the use of monies appropriated from the fund. (Effective April 1, 2012.) (Adds Article VII, Section 4(D)(4))[1]

Support

Those in favor of this measure said they saw it as a better way to compensate those parishes which produced the most oil and gas for the state. It was estimated that $35 million in the first year would be lost at the state level because it was given to local governments instead. This measure, however, was not scheduled to go into effect until 2012 because the State would need to adjust the budget for the projected shortfalls.[2]

The Police Jury Association formed a committee to help raise money to support campaigning for this measure, noting that it was a fair amendment which deserved to be approved. Though a similar measure, raising the cap of revenues allowed to the parish, was defeated in 2008, proponents said they hoped clearer language and further needs would ensure this measure passed.[3]

Opponents

Those against the measure questioned why the state should give up more money to parishes when they received incomes from other sources. Mineral resources were considered an asset of the state, so the state should benefit the most from their production, argued opponents.[3]

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Louisiana ballot measures, 2010

Opposition

  • The Advocate was against this measure because it would restrict how money could be used. They argued that dedicated taxes were always a bad idea and were a relic of old Louisiana oil wealth which was not needed.[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Louisiana legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

In order to qualify for the ballot the proposed measure required the approval of 2/3rds of the members of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature.

See also

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