Louisiana Property Tax Sales, Amendment 5 (October 2011)

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Amendment 5
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Article VII, Section 25A
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:Taxes
Status:Defeated Defeatedd
The Louisiana Property Tax Sales, Amendment 5 appeared on the October 22, 2011 statewide ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was defeatedDefeatedd.[1]

The proposed measure would have allowed for collectors to offer property in the city of New Orleans for sale with no minimum required bid if the property failed to sell for the minimum required bid the tax sale. This was an existing exemption.

Election results

Amendment 5 (October 2011)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No45086251.51%
Yes 424397 48.49%

Source: Louisiana Secretary of State, official results 10/22/11

Text of measure

The ballot question read:[2]

To amend provisions relative to tax sales in order to maintain an existing exemption from the minimum bid requirements for tax sales in the city of New Orleans due to changes in populations according to the 2010 census.

Constitutional changes

Amendment 5 would have amended Article VII, Section 25(A)(2).

The new Article VII, Section 25(A)(2) would have read:

§25. Tax Sales

Section 25.(A) Tax Sales.

***
(2) If property located in a municipality with a population of more than four hundred fifty thousand persons as of the most recent federal decennial census the city of New Orleans fails to sell for the minimum required bid in the tax sale, the collector may offer the property for sale at a subsequent sale with no minimum required bid. The proceeds of the sale shall be applied to the taxes, interest, and costs due on the property, and any remaining deficiency shall be eliminated from the tax rolls.

Support

Supporters argued that the proposed constitutional amendment was merely an update of the language and did not give the city of New Orleans any more or less leeway with its tax sales.[3][4]

In a statement the Council for A Better Louisiana announced their support for the proposed amendment. "While CABL does not generally support the proliferation of amendments to the constitution, we recognize that some are needed to change policies that are already established in the constitution. We believe all of the changes proposed for the October ballot are reasonable and make sense from a policy perspective," said Barry Erwin, president of the council, in a statement.[5]

Note: As of September 2011 there was no organized support or campaign effort.

Donors

According to the state campaign finance database, there were no registered committees (PACs).

(last updated December 2011)

Opposition

Opponents argued that the language in the constitution did not need to be updated to apply to just one city, New Orleans. Additionally, they argued that New Orleans should be entitled to an exemption from the minimum requirements.[3][4]

Note: As of September 2011 there was no organized opposition or campaign effort.

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Donors

According to the state campaign finance database, there were no registered committees (PACs).

(last updated December 2011)

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Louisiana ballot measures, 2011

Support

  • The Daily Iberian said, "Amendment No. 1 adds a tax on tobacco products and steers the revenue to the TOPS college scholarship program. The tax goes away if not included here, though it's already in place so is not a "new" tax. Gov. Jindal has reportedly said he's voting "no" to this. It's a questionable effort, but who is against TOPS? And the tax is really a renewal."[6]
  • The Times-Picayune said, "This is a simple house-keeping measure that is necessary because of the population reduction in New Orleans post-Katrina. The provision allows some tax-delinquent property to be sold without a minimum bid. That is an important tool in the city's efforts to reduce blight."[7]
  • Houma Today said, "The changes are made necessary by recent reductions in New Orleans’ population. It would not alter any sort of public policy but would keep things as they are."[8]

Opposition

  • The News-Star said, "New Orleans should not be entitled to an exemption others don't have and constitutional language should not apply to only one municipality."[9]

Path to the ballot

See also: Louisiana legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

If 2/3rds of the members of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature voted in the affirmative, a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment could have been placed on the statewide ballot.

  • On April 4, 2011 the House voted 96-0 to refer the measure to the ballot.
  • The Senate approved the measure following a 36-0 vote on April 13, 2011.
  • The measure was referred to the ballot on April 14, 2011.

Timeline

Calendar.png

The following is a timeline of events surrounding the measure:

Event Date Developments
House vote April 4, 2011 House voted 96-0 to refer the measure to the ballot.
Senate vote April 13 2011 Senate approved the measure for the ballot following a 36-0 vote.
Certified April 14, 2011 Referred and certified for the 2011 ballot

See also

By Bailey Ludlam
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