Louisiana Tax Rebate Debate, Amendment 14 (2014)
The Louisiana Tax Rebate Debate, Amendment 14 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have prohibited legislators from introducing legislation related to tax exemptions, credits, rebates and other tax break programs during legislative sessions in even-numbered years.
|Louisiana Amendment 14|
Election results via: Louisiana Secretary of State
Text of measure
The official ballot text read as follows: 
|“||Do you support an amendment to provide that legislation relative to tax rebates, tax incentives, and tax abatements may not be introduced or considered by the legislature in a regular session held in an even-numbered year?
(Amends Article III, Section 2(A)(3)(b) and (4)(b)(introductory paragraph))
- See also: Article III, Louisiana Constitution
The proposed amendment would have amended Section 2(A)(3)(b) and Section 2(4)(b) of Article III of the Constitution of Louisiana:
The measure was introduced into the legislature by Rep. Edward James (D-101).
The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following was the council's argument in support:
|“||Tax rebates, incentives and abatements are fiscal matters. A loophole in the law allows legislators to introduce bills related to rebates, incentives and abatements in both general and fiscal sessions. Introducing such legislation during general sessions runs counter to what was intended by the split-session system. The goal in establishing the fiscal-only sessions was to give legislators time to closely scrutinize all matters related to the state’s finances. When these bills are introduced in a general session, they do not receive the attention they deserve and are much more likely to be bargained among unrelated bills in the legislative process.||”|
—Public Affairs Research Council
The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following was the council's argument against:
|“||Legislators need flexibility to offer economic development incentives to boost jobs and business growth in Louisiana. Legislation for tax rebates, incentives and abatements should be allowed every year, not every two years. Also, fiscal sessions have not produced the in-depth focus on fiscal matters that state leaders and the voters hoped for when this new system was approved years ago.||”|
—Public Affairs Research Council
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Louisiana Constitution
State Representative Edward James (D-101) introduced a bill into the legislature to alter the constitution and put the measure before voters on March 18, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. HB 131 was approved by the Louisiana Senate on May 31, 2013. The amendment was approved by the Louisiana House of Representatives on June 6, 2013.
May 31, 2013 Senate vote
|Louisiana HB 131 Senate Vote|
June 6, 2013 House vote
|Louisiana HB 131 House Vote|
- Louisiana Legislature, "House Bill No. 131," 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.
- Public Affairs Research Council, "Guide to the 2014 Constitutional Amendments," accessed September 12, 2014
- Louisiana Legislature, "Bill Info - HB 131," accessed January 16, 2014
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