We are getting very close to this November's elections. Voting day is Tuesday November 6th, and early voting has already begun.

Since we're so close, we thought it would be a great chance to further explore some of what you'll see on this year's ballot. There are 6 proposed Constitutional Amendments in Louisiana this year.

The first one, Act 721 (or Proposition 5) is about allowing felons to seek office. Here's the text you'll see on your ballot:

“Do you support an amendment to extend eligibility for the following special property tax treatments to property in trust: the special assessment level for property tax valuation, the property tax exemption for property of a disabled veteran, and the property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a person who died while performing their duties as a first responder, active duty member of the military, or law enforcement or fire protection officer?”

So what does that mean? Here's the full text from the proposal:

Present Constitution provides the assessment of residential property receiving the homestead exemption which is owned and occupied by any of the following, if the owner has an adjusted gross annual income that does not exceed the income threshold, shall not be increased above the total assessment of that property for the first year that the owner qualifies for and receives the special assessment level, provided that such person or persons remain qualified for and receive the special assessment level: 1) people who are sixty-five years of age or older; 2) people who have a service-connected disability rating of fifty percent or more by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; 3) members of the armed forces of the United States or the Louisiana National Guard who owned and last occupied such property who are killed in action, or who are missing in action or are a prisoner of war for a period exceeding ninety days; or 4) any person or persons permanently totally disabled as determined by a final non-appealable judgment of a court or as certified by a state or federal administrative agency charged with the responsibility for making determinations regarding disability.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and provides that a trust shall be eligible for the special assessment level if the trust would have been eligible for the special assessment level prior to the most recent reappraisal, the total assessment of the property held in trust shall be the assessed value on the last appraisal before the reappraisal.

Present Constitution provides an additional exemption from ad valorem taxation of seven thousand five hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of property receiving the homestead exemption that is owned and occupied by a veteran with a serviceconnected disability rating of one hundred percent unemployability or totally disabled by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the surviving spouse of the veteran.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and provides an additional exemption for a trust.

Present Constitution provides that for ad valorem taxes due in 2017 and thereafter, an unmarried surviving spouse of a person who died while on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Louisiana National Guard, or while performing their duties as a state police officer, or a law enforcement or fire protection officer who qualified for the salary supplement authorized by Article VII, Section10(D)(3) of this constitution is entitled to an exemption from ad valorem tax for the total assessed value of their homestead.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and provides an additional exemption for a trust. 

So what does all of that actually mean?

A vote YES on this Amendment would extend special property tax benefits to those who are disabled veterans and their spouses, as well as surviving spouses of active duty military, first responders, law enforcement, and fire protections officers who are killed in the line of duty.

A vote NO on this Amendment means no change to current law.