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 718 (or Proposition 6) is about allowing felons to seek office. Here's the text you'll see on your ballot:

“Do you support an amendment that will require that any reappraisal of the value of residential property by more than 50%, resulting in a corresponding increase in property taxes, be phased-in over the course of four years during which time no additional reappraisal can occur and that the decrease in the total ad valorem tax collected as a result of the phase-in of assessed valuation be absorbed by the taxing authority and not allocated to the other taxpayers?”

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

Present Constitution provides that property subject to ad valorem taxation shall be listed on the assessment rolls at its assessed valuation which shall be a percentage of its fair market value and all property subject to taxation shall be reappraised and valued at intervals of not more than four years.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment retains present constitution and provides for the phase-in of additional tax liability in the year of implementation of a reappraisal resulting from the increase in the property’s assessed value over a four-year period, if the assessed value of the immovable property increases by an amount which is greater than fifty percent of the property’s assessed value in the previous year as follows:

a) For the first levy following reappraisal, the collector shall use the property’s assessed value from the previous year, which is called the base amount, and shall increase the portion of the assessed value of the property used to calculate ad valorem taxes by adding an amount which is equal to one-fourth of the amount of the increase in the assessed value as a result of the reappraisal to the base amount, and the resulting amount shall be the property’s taxable value and shall be used solely for purposes of calculating ad valorem taxes for that taxable year.

b) For the second levy following reappraisal, the collector shall increase the portion of the assessed value of the property used to calculate ad valorem taxes by adding an amount which is equal to one-half of the amount of the increase in the assessed value as a result of the reappraisal to the base amount, and the resulting amount shall be the property’s taxable value and shall be used solely for purposes of calculating ad valorem taxes for that taxable year.

c) For the third levy following reappraisal, the collector shall increase the portion of the assessed value of the property used to calculate ad valorem taxes by adding an amount which is equal to three-quarters of the amount of the increase in the assessed value as a result of the reappraisal to the base amount, and the resulting amount shall be the property’s taxable value and shall be used solely for purposes of calculating ad valorem taxes for that taxable year.

d) For the fourth levy following reappraisal, the collector shall calculate ad valorem taxes based on the property’s full assessed value.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that the phase-in of additional ad valorem tax liability following reappraisal shall cease to apply on the transfer or conveyance of ownership of the property, and the collector shall calculate ad valorem taxes based on the property’s full assessed value after the transfer or conveyance.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that property subject to the four-year phase-in of additional ad valorem taxes shall not be subject to reappraisal by an assessor until after the four-year phase-in of the amount of the increase in the property’s assessed value is complete.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment provides that notwithstanding any provision of this constitution to the contrary, the increase in assessed valuation of property phasedin shall be included as taxable property for purposes of subsequent reappraisals and valuation for millage adjustment purposes under Article VII, Section 23(B) of this constitution, and the decrease in the total amount of ad valorem tax collected by a taxing authority as a result of the phase-in of the assessed valuation shall be absorbed by the taxing authority and shall not create any additional tax liability for other taxpayers in the taxing district as a result of any subsequent reappraisal and valuation or millage adjustment.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment further provides that the implementation of the phase-in of increase in assessed valuation shall neither trigger nor be cause for a reappraisal of property or an adjustment of millages pursuant to Article VII, Section 23(B) of this constitution.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment shall not apply to the extent the increase was attributable to construction on or improvements to the property. 

So what does all of that actually mean?

A vote YES on this Amendment would say that you would support phasing in property tax changes, of 50% or more, over the course of four years, instead of instantly. Property values are supposed to be reappraised every four years, and currently if the change between appraisals is over 50%, you are required to start paying the higher tax rate right away.

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