2021 Constitutional Amendments
Voters statewide in Louisiana will head to the polls on November 13, 2021.
Each of the 10 parishes in the GNO region has issues on the ballot, including millage renewals, school board and city council races, and the mayoral election in New Orleans.
🎥 WEBINAR: GNO, Inc. Constitutional Amendments Online Briefing
You can view sample ballots on the Louisiana Secretary of State website here.
All voters will be asked to vote on four proposed constitutional amendments.
Proposed Amendment No. 1: Do you support an amendment to authorize the legislature to provide for the streamlined electronic filing, electronic remittance, and the collection of sales and use taxes levied within the state by the State and Local Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Commission and to provide for the funding, duties, and responsibilities of the commission?
Summary: A vote “yes” would pave the way for a centralized system of tax collection, instead of the current system of sales taxes being collected at both the state and local levels. Louisiana is currently one of four states that lacks unified sales tax administration, meaning sellers must remit taxes to numerous taxing jurisdictions which is costly and burdensome. This amendment would create an eight-member state commission comprised of individuals representing local and state entities. Following passage, the State Legislature would need to enact the statutory provisions in a future legislative session that further outline the operations of the Commission.
Proposed Amendment No. 2: Do you support an amendment to lower the maximum allowable rate of individual income tax and to authorize the legislature to provide by law for a deduction of federal income taxes paid?
Summary: A vote “yes” would result in 93% of taxpayers paying less personal state income tax. Personal income tax rates would drop across all brackets, with a maximum 4.75% rate set in the state constitution. The actual rate in 2022 would be 4.25%. Taxpayers would no longer deduct federal income taxes paid from their state income taxes, decoupling state tax code from federal tax code, providing more stability in state finances. Louisiana is one of just two states allowing for full deductibility of federal taxes. Eighty percent of corporate taxpayers would not pay corporate franchise taxes. The corporate income tax rate would drop for most taxpayers, offsetting the reduction with elimination of the federal income tax deduction. Among states with income tax, Louisiana’s top personal income tax rate would be the lowest rate in the South, and nationally, Louisiana would rank fourth lowest. (More on this below.)
Proposed Amendment No. 3: Do you support an amendment to allow levee districts created after January 1, 2006, and before October 9, 2021, whose electors approve the amendment to levy an annual tax not to exceed five mills for the purpose of constructing and maintaining levees, levee drainage, flood protection, and hurricane flood protection?
Summary: A vote “yes” would give additional levee districts the constitutional authority to assess up to a 5 mill tax on taxable property within the district. If passed by voters statewide, and by voters within a respective levee district, the amendment allows a levee district created after January 1, 2006 to go directly to the levee district board for approval to assess a millage to fund hurricane protection efforts. Without this amendment, any millage for constructing and maintaining levees, levee drainage, flood protection and hurricane protection must be approved by the voters in that levee district. Levee districts created prior to 2006 already have the constitutional authority to annually assess up to 5 mills without the vote of the people, with the exception of the Orleans Levee District (annually not to exceed 2.5 mills). Within the GNO region, if passed, this amendment would give constitutional authority to the Tangipahoa Levee District and the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage, and Conservation District, as they were created after 2006. This amendment is supported by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.
Proposed Amendment No. 4: Do you support an amendment to increase the amount of allowable deficit reductions to statutory dedications and constitutionally protected funds from five percent to ten percent?
Summary: A vote “yes” would modify the procedure to adjust appropriations to eliminate a projected shortfall. The amendment increases the amount that the Governor, the Commissioner of Administration, and the Legislature can remove from dedicated funds, while maintaining existing limits on cuts to certain funds including higher education and health care. The amendment would provide additional flexibility during budget shortfalls by increasing the adjustment authority from five percent to ten percent. This would only come into play during a severe budget situation.
Download a PDF overview of the constitutional amendments.
Constitutional Amendment #2: A Closer Look
Constitutional Amendment #2 would make Louisiana’s income taxes lower, fairer, and simpler. Approval of the constitutional amendment will reduce income tax rates, and make our tax system better, drawing more people to our state. After being passed nearly unanimously by the Legislature, the measure appears on the ballot as this proposed constitutional amendment:
Do you support an amendment to lower the maximum allowable rate of individual income tax and to authorize the Legislature to prove by law for a deduction for federal income taxes paid?
FAQs on Constitutional Amendment No. 2.
How will this change what I owe in taxes?
The proposal was designed so that taxpayers would not see much change and be neutral to state revenues. 93% of taxpayers will actually pay less in personal state income taxes.
Will anyone pay more in personal state income taxes?
Those with incomes above $900,000 will pay more in state taxes. Also, those who itemize their taxes will likely pay more. Taxpayers who itemize tend to be higher income earners who are deducting charitable donations, mortgage interest, and medical expenses. Medical expense tax deductions would still be allowed. In Louisiana, less than 8% of taxpayers itemize.
Will my personal state income tax rate drop?
Yes, this proposal lowers the income tax rates across all levels, no matter what bracket you are in. The top rate would be 4.25%, with the possibility for rates to drop even lower in the future.
If most people will pay less in state taxes, will the state lose money?
No. The proposal lowers personal state income tax rates, but also eliminates the ability to deduct federal income taxes from state taxes, which is only allowed in Louisiana and Alabama, and makes our state taxes complicated. Taxpayers with higher incomes will pay more in state taxes. This simplifies our state taxes, which is more appealing to potential new taxpayers.
Why is federal deductibility bad?
The current system puts us on the tax roller coaster. When Congress raises federal taxes, Louisiana collects less money. Currently, our state stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars when federal taxes go up. This will negatively impact state funding for education, healthcare, and our overall stability as a state.
How bad are Louisiana’s income tax rates right now, compared to other states?
Louisiana looks more expensive than it is. Louisiana is #19 highest in the country for personal income tax rate, but due to exemptions like federal deductibility, we actually collect the #9 least in the country. This change would make Louisiana’s top personal income tax rate the lowest in the south, and the 4th lowest in the country (among states that collect income tax).
Can this be done fairly to all taxpayers?
Yes. The proposal is fairer to all income levels. The main benefit for low- and middle-income families, who do not typically have federal income tax to deduct, is a lower state tax rate.
Constitutional Amendment No. 2: The Details
Personal Income Tax
If Constitutional Amendment No. 2 passes, personal income tax rates would drop across all brackets, with a maximum 4.75% rate set in the state constitution. In exchange, taxpayers will no longer deduct federal income taxes paid from their state income taxes.
Corporate Income & Franchise Tax
The proposal lowers the tax rate and for most taxpayers, offsetting the reduction with elimination of the federal income tax deduction.
*Between July 1, 2021-January 1, 2023, the corporate franchise rate would be $1.50 per $1,000 of taxable capital on the first $300,000 and $3 per $1,000 above $300,000
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