The lone amendment found on the Nov. 19 ballot deals with the limitation on taxes and fees on the sale or transfer of real estate within the state of Louisiana.
According to the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR), a vote for the amendment would prohibit the state from instating any new real estate taxes after Nov. 30. It would not, however, repeal any previous taxes imposed before the amendment was passed.
If the proposed amendment fails to pass, however, the state of Louisiana would be free to pass statutes creating new real estate transfer taxes in the future.
PAR states that if passed, the amendment could make property purchases more expensive and could weaken the housing market. If it failed, however, it would inhibit parishes and municipalities from using the transfer tax as a source of added revenue if needed in the future.
The state is one of 13 in the United States that does not have a statewide real estate transfer tax, but the city of New Orleans charges a $325 "documentary transaction tax" on all property transfers. That tax, according to PAR, generated $3.6 million in revenue in 2010 and is expected to generate $4.4 million in 2011.
The state attempted to enact a property transfer tax in 2000 through the legislature but failed. See more about amendments on the upcoming Oct. 22 ballot in future issues of the Leader.