Here’s what you need to know about the Constitutional Amendments on the Nov. 8 ballot
NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – It’s that time again. Voters statewide will be asked to decide yes or no on six proposed amendments to the Louisiana Constitution on the Nov. 8 ballot.
According to the Public Affairs Research Council, which publishes an annual guide to the amendments, Amendments 2, 3 and 5 are particularly significant because of their impact on state policy.
They address college tuition, corporate income taxes and a new trust fund to address state revenue surges.
Public affairs researchers said the state Constitution has been amended 183 times since it was adopted in 1974.
Here’s what you need to know about the amendments, courtesy of the Public Affairs Research Council:
Amendment 1 – Establishes new requirements for local registrars of voters
A vote for Amendment 1 require standards of professional and educational experience for local registrars of voters and more public disclosure in their hiring process. A vote against would leave the existing job requirements in place and allow local governing authorities greater discretion when filling registrar vacancies.
Amendment 2 – Tuition and fee autonomy to college management boards
A vote for would let higher education management boards set annual tuition rates and fee amounts for colleges and universities without legislative approval. A vote against would preserve the state Legislature’s authority over tuition and fee levels. Colleges in Louisiana have been steadily raising tuition for the past several years amid steep budget cuts. Current law doesn’t allow them to raise tuition without the Legislature giving the OK.
Amendment 3 – Eliminates federal income tax deduction for corporations on state tax returns and sets a flat rate
A vote for would eliminate the deduction for federal income taxes paid by corporations when calculating state income taxes while triggering a flat corporate tax rate of 6.5%. A vote against would allow corporations to continue receiving a state income tax deduction for federal income taxes paid and allow the existing corporate tax rates and brackets to remain.
Amendment 4 – Property tax exemption for surviving spouses of persons killed in the line of duty
A yes vote would give surviving spouses of military, fire protection officers and law enforcement personnel who died while on duty a full property tax exemption on their home. A no vote would leave existing property tax exemption levels and eligibility requirements in place.
Amendment 5 – Creates a revenue stabilization trust fund
A vote for would create the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund to receive a portion of revenues from corporate and mineral taxes and to spend the money on infrastructure and pension liabilities. A no vote would continue to allow corporate tax and mineral revenue above a certain threshold to flow into the state general fund for appropriation by the legislature.
Amendment 6 – Adjusts threshold for tapping protected funds
A yes vote would provide legislators a new way to tap into constitutionally protected funds during revenue downturns and also extends protection to five existing funds. A vote against would keep in place the existing trigger which allows the Legislature to tap into otherwise protected funds.