What’s on the ballot: A breakdown of Amendment One

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Amendment One proposes to make the state the sole collector of local sales taxes from towns and cities across Louisiana.

“This amendment would create a commission balanced by state and local collectors that would put new rules on the road, make it an online, easy to access portal for businesses to be able to pay their taxes,” said Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Waguespack supports the amendment and says that Louisiana is only one of three states that doesn’t use this tax collection format.

However, the City of New Orleans says it’s not all about streamlining.

“This is just a political solution for what is a technological problem,” said Jeffrey Schwartz, New Orleans Director of the Office of Economic Development.

The City of New Orleans would rather collect its own sales tax than wait for the state to collect it and return it. The City is concerned that the state could get too involved in local politics.

“There are way too many unknowns and the sales taxes that Orleans Parish collects represents about a third of the city’s overall budget, and that’s just too many question marks for the City of New Orleans, and quite frankly, any municipality in the state to put in the hands of a as yet, unformed, untested commission,” said Schwartz.

If Amendment One passes, the state would create a commission of local and state representatives to oversee the tax collection.

Early voting is underway and election day is November 13.

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