Here at One Acadiana (1A), members of the Acadiana business community often look to us for insight on policy and governmental affairs issues, especially leading up to elections where votes can impact on our region’s economic trajectory. When it comes to the issues, people most commonly ask for 2 things from our organization:
Analysis with a clear position
As the October 14 election draws near, we’re providing a breakdown of two issues on the ballot which could have a significant impact on economic development – Amendments No. 1 and 3. Through careful consideration, 1A’s Executive Committee - made up of a diverse group of Acadiana business leaders - has voted to support both measures.
With early voting just around the corner on Sept. 30 - Oct. 7, and the election on Oct. 14., you can find an analysis on the pros and cons of all three amendments in PAR’s Guide to the Constitutional Amendments.
Now on to 1A’s analysis and clear positions…
VOTE YESon Constitutional Amendment No. 1
What you’ll see on the ballot:
Do you support an amendment to exempt from property taxes materials and other property delivered to a construction site to be made part of a building or other construction?
Amendment No. 1 establishes a property tax exemption for construction work in progress (CWIP). It is existing practice that new construction is not added to the property tax rolls until the project is sufficiently complete; however, there are no specific rules codifying this practice. That’s what this amendment seeks to address.
Because the rules are not spelled out, there was a recent dispute about how property taxes were being assessed on the construction of Cheniere Energy’s $20 billion LNG export facility in Cameron Parish. As a result of this dispute, stakeholders came togetherto propose this amendment, which would clarify the rules and make the existing practice permanent.
By eliminating uncertainty for anyone constructing a new home or business in Louisiana, the amendment would keep Louisiana competitive for businesses or individuals to invest here. If the amendment does not pass, Louisianans could be subject to an expensive new tax.
1A is joining with a broad coalition of economic development and industry partners around the state to ask you to Protect Louisiana Taxpayers and vote YES on Constitutional Amendment No. 1.
VOTE YES on Constitutional Amendment No. 3
What you’ll see on the ballot:
Do you support an amendment that would dedicate any new tax levied on gasoline, diesel, and special fuels into the Construction Subfund, which solely shall be used for project delivery, construction, and maintenance of transportation and capital transit infrastructure projects and not for funding for the payment of employee wages and related benefits or employee retirement benefits?
Louisiana has a backlog of more than $13 billion in needs on our existing transportation system, with another $10.5 billion needed for priority megaprojects. Without additional state revenue, Louisiana may lose the ability to meet the required match for full federal funding as early as 2019, leaving millions of dollars on the table for other states.
The need for infrastructure investment is clear, but equally clear is the need for transparency and accountability in how our infrastructure dollars are spent.
Amendment No. 3 would provide transparency and accountability by directing any new gas tax revenues into a Construction Subfund of the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), dedicated solely to the construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure projects. The amendment specifically prohibits the money from being used for state employee salaries or benefits.
1A’s transportation funding guiding principles call for “continuing to restore trust to the Transportation Trust Fund by fully protecting it from being diverted for non-transportation related expenses” and “assuring that new revenues will be protected for construction and maintenance, while containing administrative costs.” Amendment No. 3 would accomplish both.