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Louisiana Orleans Parish Tax for Fire and Police Protection, Amendment 6 (2014)

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Amendment 6
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Constitution:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:Taxes
Status:Approved Approveda
2014 measures
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November 4
Amendment 1 Approveda
Amendment 2 Approveda
Amendment 3 Defeatedd
Amendment 4 Defeatedd
Amendment 5 Defeatedd
Amendment 6 Approveda
Amendment 7 Approveda
Amendment 8 Approveda
Amendment 9 Defeatedd
Amendment 10 Approveda
Amendment 11 Defeatedd
Amendment 12 Defeatedd
Amendment 13 Defeatedd
Amendment 14 Defeatedd
Endorsements

The Louisiana Orleans Parish Tax for Fire and Police Protection, Amendment 6 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure authorized Orleans Parish to increase the annual ad valorem tax levied for fire and police protection and required that the revenue from the fire and police millages be used for fire and police protection service enhancements. It did this by raising the special millage caps for police and fire protection from five to ten mills. The measure also required a separate vote on the increase by constituents of Orleans Parish.[1][2]

The proposed amendment was introduced into the Louisiana Legislature by State Representative Walt Leger, III (D-91) as House Bill 111. Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) of New Orleans proposed the amendment.[3]

Election results

Louisiana Amendment 6
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 672,431 51.15%
No642,09748.85%

Election results via: Louisiana Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The proposed ballot text read as follows:[1]

Do you support an amendment to authorize the governing authority of Orleans Parish to increase the annual millage rate levied for fire and police protection, to require that the revenue from the fire and police millages be used for fire and police protection service enhancements, and to require that any increase be approved by the voters of Orleans Parish? (Amends Article VI, Section 26(E))

(Effective January 1, 2015) (Amends Article IX, Section 7(A))[4]

Constitutional changes

The measure amended Section 26(E) of Article VI of the Constitution of Louisiana:[1]

(E) Additional Taxes for Orleans Parish.

(1) In addition to any millage authorized by Paragraph (A) of this Section, the governing authority of Orleans Parish may levy annually, for the year 1991 and thereafter, an additional ad valorem tax for fire protection not to exceed five six mills on the dollar of assessed valuation and an additional ad valorem tax for police protection not to exceed five six mills on the dollar of assessed valuation. The millage rates for such additional ad valorem taxes may not be increased. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article VII, Section 20(A), the homestead exemption shall not extend to such additional ad valorem taxes. Provided, however, that the The additional revenues generated by these fire and police millages shall not displace, replace, or supplant funding by the city of New Orleans for fire and police protection for calendar year 1990 2013 nor shall the level of funding for such purposes by the city for that calendar year be decreased below such level in any subsequent calendar year hereafter. Furthermore, the revenues generated by these fire and police millages shall be used solely for fire and police protection service enhancements, respectively, that directly contribute to the safety of the residents of Orleans Parish. In the event of either of the above, the authorization for such fire and police millages herein shall be null, void, and of no effect. This provision shall mean that no appropriation for any calendar year from such additional revenues shall be made for any purpose for which a city appropriation was made in the previous year unless the total appropriations for that calendar year from the city for such purpose exceed city appropriations for the previous year. This provision shall in no way limit city appropriations in excess of the minimum amounts herein established.
(2) Any additional ad valorem tax authorized by the amendment of Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph as approved by the voters in 2014 shall be levied only if approved by a majority of the electors of Orleans Parish who vote on a proposition authorizing the additional tax at an election held for that purpose.[4]


Support

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) originally proposed the amendment. Rep. Walt Leger, III (D-91) sponsored the amendment in the Louisiana Legislature.[3]

A full list of legislators by how they voted on the amendment can be found here.

Arguments

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

The city of New Orleans has a crying need for better public services to help protect residents from crime, contribute to rebuilding after the tragic effects of Katrina and foster citywide economic development. Because New Orleans has been so constrained by the old millage cap, raising it would allow for desperately needed funds to help New Orleans decide its own destiny. The parish has faced unexpected expenditures stemming from police and sheriff consent decrees along with firefighter retirement settlements. The amendment could raise proceeds for public safety initia- tives. This change would affect only owners of property in Orleans Parish. Other parishes across the state would not face any changes to their millage caps or rates as a result of this amendment.

[4]

—Public Affairs Research Council[2]

Opposition

A full list of legislators by how they voted on the amendment can be found here.

Arguments

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

Orleans already has the highest general and special millage caps of any parish in the state. Doubling the special millage cap would open the door for the New Orleans City Council to raise taxes. While the amendment itself does not raise taxes, a current or future City Council or mayor, sooner or later, is sure to press for higher millages. Once the cap is raised, New Orleans prospectively will become a more expensive and less competitive city for business development and home ownership. Higher taxes are not the best path to post-Katrina recovery. The city would do better to constrain spending and waste.

[4]

—Public Affairs Research Council[2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Louisiana Constitution

A two-thirds majority vote was required in both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature in order to place the constitutional amendment on the ballot. House Bill 111 was approved by the Louisiana Senate on May 27, 2014. The measure was approved by the Louisiana House on May 29, 2014. The amendment was approved unanimously in both chambers.[5]

Senate vote

May 27, 2014 Senate vote

Louisiana HB 111 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 35 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

May 29, 2014 House vote

Louisiana HB 111 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 85 100.00%
No00.00%

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

Additional reading

References