Amendment 3: Taxing Authority for New Levee Districts

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana statewide election is just 10 days away. Voters will have to decide on four constitutional amendments and Amendment 3 could make some changes to levee districts.

Levee districts manage the construction and maintenance of levees. The legislature can create new levee districts if it wants. Any district created before 2006 can levy up to 5 mills on property tax to help pay for levee work.

“It essentially just allows certain levee districts around the state to have the ability to go to their local voters and ask for additional increases in revenue to modify their levee protection systems,” said Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President and CEO Stephen Wasguespack.

A mill is a one dollar tax for every one thousand dollars someone pays in property tax. If this amendment passes it would allow levee boards to vote to implement the mills in eight districts. If the majority of a district votes no they can opt out.

“It gives those voters a right to choose their own destiny in how much they want to invest in their own levee districts,” Waguespack said.

Those in favor believe flood control is a major issue levee boards should have more ease in dealing with.

“Those parishes of concern who are in low flood areas as hurricane season and rain continues to be catastrophic have to think about,” said Davante Lewis, Director of Public Affairs for the LA Budget Project.

There are five levee districts that would mainly be impacted by this vote: the Chenier Plain Coastal Authority, Iberia Parish Levee, Squirrel Run Levee, St. Tammany Levee, and the Tangipahoa Levee District.

If it doesn’t pass they will have to rely on private fundraising or ask other government entities for money.

The election will take place on November 13. Early voting has already begun and you can find if your polling location has moved due to hurricane damage here.

Read the Public Affairs Research Council nonpartisan guide here

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