This Saturday, Lincoln Parish residents will have the option to vote on four amendments and one proposition.
The proposition for Lincoln Parish, which is labeled under Parishwide Proposition – 4.49 Mills Cont. – PJ – 10 Yrs., is the Lincoln Parish Library millage renewal. If the millage renewal does not pass, the parish library will likely go under before the end of 2022.
“The library, due to more budgetary cuts made around the time of my arrival, will have right around $1,000,000 at the end of this year,” Library Interim Director Marcie Nelson said in a previous LPJ article written by Jim Wilkerson. “The budget currently sits at about $1,900,000 for a year’s operation. That means that as of 2022, we will have just enough money in the bank to get us through June.”
Four amendments will also be on the ballot this Saturday.
Last month, Louisiana State Rep. Chris Turner spoke to LPJ writer Alexis Newman about the amendments and what a “yes” vote and a “no” vote mean for each one.
Amendment One proposes that the state of Louisiana streamline sales tax revenue collection. As of now, the state collects a state sales tax, and each parish collects their own sales taxes which vary in rate. A yes vote would approve of a centralized committee with authority over tax application policies that would collect and electronically file both state and local sales taxes.
“Louisiana is currently only one of three states in the country that doesn’t have centralized sales tax collection,” Turner said. “One centralized sales tax commission ensures accuracy, transparency and accountability to both those paying local sales tax and local governments who receive the funds.”
In the simplest terms, the second proposed amendment asks if the voter would support a decrease in individual and corporate income tax and franchise tax. This would also eliminate the ability of Louisiana citizens who file for income tax to file for a deduction for federal taxes. Three corresponding statutes would be put into place detailing this reform: Act 395 for individual income tax, Act 396 for corporate income tax, and Act 389 for franchise tax.
“The passage of this amendment is the first and very important step towards simplifying Louisiana’s complex tax code and make our state more competitive with our neighboring states,” Turner said. “Lowering income tax rates will be exchanged with the removal the federal income tax deduction to provide stability for entrepreneurs, as well as the phase out of the franchise tax.”
Proposed Amendment No. 3, if approved, would allow the boards of levee districts created after 2006 to increase property tax millage up to 5 mills in order to fund levee construction and maintenance. This could be done without voter approval. Although this amendment would not affect the district that Lincoln Parish is in, it would affect fellow Louisiana citizens who rely on levees.
The fourth amendment proposes increased flexibility in the state’s ability to reallocate dedicated funds in the case of a budget deficit. The current percentage of funds allowed to be tapped is 5%, and an affirmative vote would approve of increasing the percentage to 10.
“I support the passage of all four constitutional amendments,” Turner said. “I believe that they allow for our state to progress towards a simplified tax code and create a more competitive business environment spurring on economic growth in North Louisiana as well as statewide.”
For individuals who may have moved recently or do not know where their voting location, is, visit Vote411.org to find out voting locations and other election information. By inputting an address, information about this Saturday’s election can be accessed.
Polls will open at 7 a.m. on Nov. 13 and will close 8 p.m. the same day.
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