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2012 General Election Ballot Guide: Louisiana

LATX

 

Statewide Measures

  • ( )  Amendment 1 would prohibit the Legislature from using the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly for purposes other than Medicaid program functions. Although advocates of this Amendment believe this will impose better structural discipline on the budget process, others argue that the money in the Trust Fund is a windfall from ambiguity in federal matching rules, and its use might present a better alternative to raising taxes in deficit  situations.
  • (+) Amendment 3 would increase the prefiling requirement for bills involving public employee retirement. Such bills are generally very complicated and this change will give the public more time to review and analyze them.
  • (+) Taxpayers in Louisiana will decide on Amendment 4, which would pro- vide property tax exemptions to certain veterans’ spouses.
  • (+) Voters will weigh in on Amendment 5, which would allow the Legislature to deny retirement benefits to any public employee or official who com- mits a felony related to his or her office.
  • (+) Amendment 6 would authorize the city of New Iberia to grant temporary tax exemptions to property owners who agree to be annexed into the city. Some opponents of this measure have expressed concern over the long- term fiscal effects that such annexation could have on taxpayers, but the near-term impact of the measure is to reduce taxes for some.
  • (+) Amendment 8 would create a program that would allow the state govern- ment to provide property tax exemptions to certain non-manufacturing businesses. These exemptions would apply only to businesses in parishes that have opted into the program. While broad-based tax incentives can be more effective than targeted exemptions, this program could help create jobs and economic growth.
  • (+) Voters will decide on Amendment 9, which would increase the amount of public notice required when filing bills to create crime prevention and security districts. The Amendment would also require such bills to provide information about taxes that could be imposed by these districts.
  • (+) The Term Limits for Local School Board Members Question will give the voters of every school district the option of creating term limits for school board members. If approved in a school district, its Board Members would be limited to serving 3 consecutive 4-year terms.

St. Bernard Parish

Local Measures

  • ( - ) A measure in the St. Bernard Communications District would levy a tax on phone lines to pay for enhanced 911 services. This tax would cost $1.00 per month for residential customers, $2.07 per month for commercial customers, and $1.26 per month for cellular customers.