Louisiana has an important election coming up this Saturday, October 14th. Sadly, the majority of our state’s residents either aren’t aware of it, or simply don’t plan to show up. The Louisiana Secretary of State has predicted that only 12-15% of voters will turn out to the polls this weekend.
There are many vital leadership positions on the ballot, including Louisiana State Treasurer, legislators, and public service commissioner. There will also be several amendments and millage renewals, as well as local government posts such as New Orleans Mayor and City Council up for voting. These are all critical items that will significantly affect our local communities and state as a whole.
As a business leader in the commercial real estate industry (and a Louisiana resident), one noteworthy item is the importance of voting YES on Constitutional Amendment #1—(Act 428-SB14) exemption of property taxes for construction sites. A vote of YES is a vote AGAINST more taxes.
Constitutional Amendment #1 would prohibit the assessment of property taxes on any project while it is under construction. Prohibiting the property tax assessment on “Construction Work In Progress” or CWIP as it is commonly referred to, has been the practice for generations in Louisiana. But, new threats to levy these taxes have arisen, and protection in the Constitution is needed. Voting YES will maintain the existing tax law that says you can’t assess a property—home or business—until the project is complete.
This amendment is supported by many businesses, community leaders and Louisiana editorial boards. The statewide police jury association, home builders, the municipal association, business groups, the sheriff’s association, contractors and economic development leaders have all joined the Governor and a bipartisan list of legislators supporting its passage.
Furthermore, the passage of this amendment will not take revenue away from our local governments and municipalities because it is not assessed now. The amendment simply closes a perceived loophole that will allow the chance for increased property taxes in the future.
It’s important to note that this amendment will affect all of us. Homeowners, businesses, even future economic development and employment opportunities for our area will be impacted. Many Louisiana residents are already dealing with increased flood insurance rates, we certainly don’t need an increase in property taxes or higher mortgages as well.
Personally, I think that alone is a pretty important reason to show up to the polls on Saturday. With so much divisiveness and frustration in our state and government, voting is the one sure way to let our elected officials know what we want.
I strongly encourage everyone to please take a few minutes out of your day on Saturday, October 14th to get out and vote—especially YES to Constitutional Amendment #1. Share this information with your co-workers, friends and family. Post it to your social media accounts—anything to help get the word out. Let your voice be heard.
To see a sample of what will be included on your local ballot, visit www.geauxvote.com.
See you at the polls.