Bill would eliminate New Orleans vehicle tax

| Monday, June 20, 2005

Truckers and other residents in Orleans Parish may soon be spared their vehicle tax bills.

The Louisiana Senate unanimously approved a bill June 17 that would eliminate the New Orleans property tax on motor vehicles and trailers.

Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Arnold, D-Algiers, HB187 now heads back to the House for approval of Senate changes. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Kathleen Blanco to be signed into law.

The bill would prohibit cities and parishes in the state from levying a property tax on motor vehicles. An amendment to the bill, added on the Senate floor, would include trailers and semi-trailers in the exemption.

Currently, local governments are allowed to adopt the tax, but only New Orleans has done so, The Times-Picayune reported.

The city levied more than $7 million in property taxes on motor vehicles last year and collected about $5.2 million, which was distributed among various local governments.

If signed into law, the proposed constitutional amendment would still need to gain approval of voters in a statewide election scheduled for Nov. 2006, leaving about 16 months for the city and state lawmakers to come up with alternative sources for lost revenue.

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