Constitutional amendments that affect Orleans Parish

Constitutional amendments that affect Orleans Parish

Among the 14 amendments on the ballot in Louisiana, Robert Travis Scott of the Public Affairs Research Council explains how two of them apply just to Orleans Parish, but voters statewide will get to decide if they pass.

A vote for Amendment 6 would raise the Orleans Parish special millage cap for police and fire protection from five to 10 mills.

"That wouldn't automatically put in that tax. What would happen is , the city council would then have to move it forward and then ask the citizens to vote whether they want it," Scott said.

Scott says those in favor of the amendment believe public safety and crime are major issues and the millage would give those departments much needed resources.

"Some of the arguments against it are that we already have high property taxes in New Orleans. Greater taxes is not the way to lead to economic development in this city. There would be a lot of burden placed on businesses as well," Scott said.

Amendment 13 is described as the most complicated and while it is up for a statewide vote, it would only affect the Ninth Ward.

"Basically what it does is it changes the Louisiana Constitution to allow properties that have been abandoned or vacant properties to be disposed of at a below market rate, basically at a donation rate," Scott said.

If the amendment is approved, a bill has already been set up to allow the parcels of land to be sold at 100 dollars.

Some, though, worry about who would buy and what they will do with the property.

"Arguments in favor of it is that obviously the ninth ward has suffered terribly since Katrina and we need to get those properties back into development," Scott said.

Remember, voters across the state will be deciding on both amendments that could change the Louisiana Constitution but ultimately only affect New Orleans.

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