Louisiana Constitutional Amendments for 2018 Explained
There are six Constitutional Amendments being proposed in the 2018 Louisiana Mid-Term elections. These amendments may also be referred to as ballot measures. Below is an explanation of what voting yes or no to those amendments means.
Amendment 1 – Elections Prohibits felons from running for office for five years.
YES VOTE: You are voting that people convicted of felonies should not be able to seek or hold and elected or appointed public office for five years after they complete their sentence. Offenders who are pardoned will still be able to run for and hold public office.
NO VOTE: The current rules would remain which allow convicted felons to seek or hold an appointed or elected public office immediately after they complete their sentence.
Amendment 2 – Trials Requires a unanimous jury verdict for felony trials
YES VOTE: You are voting for all future felony convictions to require a unanimous (all 12 members) jury decision. A unanimous (all 12 members) jury decision would also have to made to grant acquittals. The new law would start in 2019 and would not be retroactive.
NO VOTE: This would keep the current law in place, in which only 10 out of 12 jurors must agree to issue some felony convictions. Death penalty cases would continue to require a unanimous jury for conviction, as they do currently.
Louisiana is currently one out of only two states in the country that do not require a unanimous verdict for felony convictions.
Amendment 3 – Local Gov’t Allows political subdivisions to exchange public equipment and personnel
YES VOTE: Allow local governments to donate goods and services to each other without compensation in return. Current Louisiana law requires payment in these transactions.
NO VOTE: Except under emergency situations, local governments will have to continue to equally compensate one another for shared or donated resources.
Amendment 4 – Taxes Ends the dedication of revenue from the Transportation Trust Fund to state police
YES VOTE: Louisiana State Police can no longer be paid for traffic control services from the state’s Transportation Trust Fund. The Transportation Trust Fund is made up of fuel tax money that is supposed to go toward road, transit and other transportation projects.
NO VOTE: Fuel tax money that is supposed to go toward road, transit and other transportation projects could continue to pay Louisiana State Police for traffic control services.
Amendment 5 – Property Allows special assessments for certain homes in trusts
YES VOTE: Currently there are enhanced property tax exemptions for taxpayers who are 65 and older, disabled military veterans, their spouses, and the spouses of military members and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. Amendment 5 would extend those exemptions to property placed in a trust, where ownership is transferred to another person if that person initially qualified for the exemption and lives at the property. The exemptions would no longer apply after the person who initially qualified dies.
NO VOTE: The property tax exemptions will only apply to the person who originally qualified for them and not when the property is placed it in a trust for someone else.
Amendment 6 – Taxes Provides for a phase-in of certain property tax increases due to reappraisal
YES VOTE: Property tax bills would increase gradually over a four year period if the assessed value of a taxpayer’s primary residence increases 50 percent or more. Additions or new construction that cause property values to go up would not qualify for the phase-in period. Only properties that qualify for the homestead exemption would qualify for this exception. Municipalities and other taxing entities cannot offset reduced revenue with another tax.
NO VOTE: Taxes for property owners would immediately increase to the amount determined through assessments, with no phase-in period.
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