Louisiana Permanently Disabled Homeowners Tax Break, Amendment 9 (2014)

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Amendment 9
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Constitution:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:Taxes
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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November 4
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Endorsements

The Louisiana Permanently Disabled Homeowners Tax Break, Amendment 9 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would delete the requirement that permanently and totally disabled homeowners certify their adjusted gross income annually to have their property assessment capped.[1][2]

The bill was sponsored in the legislature by State Senator Jean-Paul J. Morrell (D-3) as Senate Bill 56.[1]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text reads as follows: [1]

Do you support an amendment to exclude owners who are permanently totally disabled from the requirement that they annually certify to the assessor the amount of their adjusted gross income in order to receive the Special Assessment Level on their residences for property tax purposes?

(Amends Article VII, Section 18(G)(1)(a)(iv))[3]

Constitutional changes

The proposed amendment would amend Section 18(G)(1)(a)(iv) of Article VII of the Constitution of Louisiana:[1]

§18. Ad Valorem Taxes

(G) Special Assessment Level.

(1)(a)
(iv) An owner who is below the age of sixty-five or who is not permanently totally disabled as provided for in Subsubparagraph (a)(i)(dd) of this Paragraph and who has applied for and received the special assessment level may qualify for and receive the special assessment level in the subsequent year by certifying to the assessor of the parish, or in the parish of Orleans, the assessor of the district where the property is located, that such person or persons' adjusted gross income in the prior tax year satisfied the income requirement of this Section. The provisions of this Subsubparagraph (a)(iv) shall not apply to an owner who has qualified for and received the special assessment level for persons sixty-five years of age or older or to such owner's surviving spouse as described in Subsubparagraph (a)(i) of this Subparagraph Subsubparagraph (2)(a)(i) of this Paragraph or for an owner who is permanently totally disabled as provided for in Subsubparagraph (a)(i)(dd) of this Paragraph.[3]


Support

The measure was introduced into the legislature by Sen. Jean-Paul J. Morrell (D-3).[1]

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

Supporters

Officials

Arguments

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

The recertification requirement is an unnecessary inconvenience. A disabled homeowner should not have to go every year to the assessor’s office to recertify that personal adjusted gross income has not exceeded the income threshold for the assessment freeze. The number of homeowners affected is small. In 2012, the Louisiana Tax Commission reported 5,660 permanently totally disabled homeowners across the state had been granted an assessment freeze. The proposed amendment also would save assessors the cost of sending reminder notices or initiating the reassessment process for those who forget to reapply.

[3]

—Public Affairs Research Council[4]

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 is the council's argument against:

Louisiana has a history of uneven property assessment practices, leading to persistent questions about fairness and equity in how properties are assessed. Authorizing special assessment levels for certain homeowners contributes to suspicions of favoritism. Eliminating the re-verification requirement would mean that assessors would be dependent on homeowners voluntarily reporting that their income had risen above the threshold. In addition, those residents who are permanently totally disabled often benefit from local services, and it is reasonable to expect them to help pay for those services. The legislative fiscal note for the proposed amendment said some local governmental revenues could decrease.

[3]

—Public Affairs Research Council[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Louisiana Constitution

State Senator Jean-Paul J. Morrell (D-3) introduced a bill to the legislature to alter the constitution and put the measure before voters on March 25, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. SB 56 was approved by the Louisiana Senate on May 1, 2013. The amendment was approved by the Louisiana House of Representatives on June 3, 2013.[5]

Senate vote

May 1, 2013 Senate vote

Louisiana SB 56 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 35 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

June 3, 2013 House vote

Louisiana SB 56 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 88 100.00%
No00.00%

See also

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External links

References