Louisiana Redemption of Blighted Property, Amendment 10 (2014)
The Louisiana Redemption of Blighted Property, Amendment 10 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would shorten the redemption period from three years to eighteen months for blighted, hazardous, uninhabitable or abandoned property sold at a tax sale due to the previous owner’s failure to pay property taxes.
Text of measure
The proposed ballot text reads as follows:
|“||Do you support an amendment providing for a twelve-month redemption period for property sold at tax sale which is blighted, abandoned, uninhabitable, or hazardous? (Effective January 1, 2015) (Amends Article VII, Section 25(B)(2))||”|
|(B) Redemption. (2) |
The measure was introduced into the legislature by Rep. Patrick Williams (D-4).
The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following is the council's argument in support:
|“||A reduced redemption period could help put blighted and abandoned properties back into pro- ductive use more quickly and lower the costs to local governments. The faster return of these properties to commerce also could help spur local governments’ economic revitalization efforts.
The proposed amendment is the result of more than two years of discussions among officials and organizations across Louisiana and represents a consensus on how to attack the problem of blighted and abandoned properties.
All of the due process and notice requirements that currently exist in state law would remain, including the steps local governments must take to notify property owners and mortgage holders when an administrative hearing is scheduled to determine whether a property is blighted or aban- doned. Property owners, in turn, can appeal the decision resulting from the administrative hearing. 
—Public Affairs Research Council
The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following is the council's argument against:
|“||Property ownership is one of the sacred values of American society. Any attempts to take some- one’s property, especially without full compensation, should be met with the strictest and most skeptical scrutiny. The current redemption period of three years is the minimum amount of time property owners should have to redeem their right to hold on to their real estate assets. During times of financial hardship in particular, the shorter redemption period proposed by this constitu- tional amendment would cause many citizens undue stress and the unfortunate loss of property.
Also, there is always a chance that despite local officials’ best efforts, the proper notices will fail to reach a property owner who could have paid all of the taxes, fines, fees and other costs for a property, and who will, therefore, lose the opportunity to retain the property. 
—Public Affairs Research Council
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Louisiana Constitution
State Representative Patrick Williams (D-4) introduced a bill into the legislature to alter the constitution and put the measure before voters on March 26, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. HB 256 was approved by the Louisiana House of Representatives on April 29, 2013. HB 256 was approved by the Louisiana Senate on May 27, 2013.
May 27, 2013 Senate vote
|Louisiana HB 256 Senate Vote|
April 29, 2013 House vote
|Louisiana HB 256 House Vote|
- Louisiana Legislature, "House Bill No. 256," accessed January 16, 2014
- The Times-Picayune, "Louisiana voters to decide on eight constitutional amendments in 2014," June 12, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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- Public Affairs Research Council, "Guide to the 2014 Constitutional Amendments," accessed September 12, 2014
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