Louisiana Property Tax Exemption for Veterans, Amendment 3 (2010)
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This measure allowed local parishes the authority to hold elections concerning further allowing the first $150,000 value of a home occupied by disabled veterans to remain tax-free. The law in 2010, at the time of the election, set the tax exemption at the first $75,000 value of the home.
In January 2011 St. Tammany Parish Assessor Patricia Schwarz-Core asked parish council members to place a measure on the local ballot that would increase the tax exemption. As of November 2010, following the approval of Amendment 3, the exemption increased from $75,000 to $150,000 to veterans who are permanently disabled. The exemption extended to surviving spouses after the veteran’s death. However, in order to be implemented in each parish in the state, it must be approved by voters in each local region. Core supports voting on the issue.
- See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
|Louisiana Amendment 3 (2010)|
Official results via Louisiana Elections Division.
Text of measure
The ballot text read as follows:
To exempt from ad valorem tax, in addition to the homestead exemption, the next seventy-five thousand dollars of value of property which is owned and occupied by a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of one hundred percent; to authorize the exemption to apply to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran if the exemption was in effect on the property prior to the death of the veteran and the surviving spouse remains the owner of the property; to require the taxing authority to absorb any decrease in the total amount of ad valorem taxes collected as a result of this exemption; to prohibit the exemption from creating any additional tax liability for other property taxpayers; to prohibit implementation of the exemption from triggering reappraisal of property or adjustment of millages; provides that the exemption shall only extend and apply if established through an election called by the local governing authority and approved by a majority of the registered voters in an election held for that purpose. (Effective January 1, 2011)(Adds Article VII, Section 21(K))
Supporters said they saw they saw this measure as a way to give back to veterans and felt that the number of veterans who would apply for the larger tax exemption would be smaller than anticipated.
The Bureau of Governmental Research and the Council for a Better Louisiana opposed the measure. The Bureau noted that it was not right to amend the constitution to potentially force local governments to give out more money without having a way for them to get the lost revenues back and the Federal government should be the one giving benefits to Veterans, not state government bodies. The Council noted that it was opposed to this measure because all it was doing was shifting the tax burden to local residents again and it was not fair to them.
Media editorial positions
- Shreveport Times supported this amendment. The support came from the need to help veterans who have already served the country and to allow support wherever it is needed. It was also believed that not many would actually apply for the exemption so it would not have a large fiscal impact on other residents.
- The Advocate was against this measure because it would have added unnecessary additions to the property tax system and if a parish had veterans in its area then there should already be additional ways to help without this amendment.
Path to the ballot
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.
- Louisiana Public Affairs Research Council, Guide to November Amendments
- Louisiana Constitutional Amendments for consideration in 2010 (dead link)
- HB 246 full text
- Louisiana Legislature, "House Bill NO. 246"
- The Times-Picayune, "Voters to weigh in on a dozen constitutional amendment proposals this fall," June 22, 2010
- The St. Tammany News, "Core seeks ballot item: Assessor wants election on vet’s homestead exemption," January 30, 2011 (timed out)
- Louisiana Legislature, "Constitutional Amendments for consideration in 2010 (page 4)," accessed August 11, 2010 (dead link)
- Shreveport Times, "Editorial: Amendments 1 and 3 merit your support," October 20, 2010
- The Times-Picayune, "Voters on Nov. 2 to consider doubling homestead exemption for disabled veterans," October 19, 2010
- The Advocate, "Our Views: Our position on proposals, Amendments 1-4," October 21, 2010
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