Louisiana voters to decide fate of vehicle tax

| 10/26/2006

Louisiana residents this November will have the opportunity to decide whether they will be spared possible vehicle tax bills. Trailers and semi-trailers would not be affected.

Voters will decide on Election Day whether to adopt Amendment 4 to the state's Constitution that would prohibit levying an ad valorem tax on motor vehicles, including large trucks. Currently, local governments are allowed to adopt the tax, but only New Orleans has done so.

The city of New Orleans levied more than $7 million in property taxes on motor vehicles in 2004 and collected about $5.2 million, which was distributed among various local governments, The Times-Picayune reported.

Proponents of Amendment 4 on the statewide ballot say a motor vehicle tax is difficult to apply uniformly. Opponents say that New Orleans should not be hamstrung in raising money, particularly in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Polls are open in the state from 6 a.m. CST to 8 p.m. CST. Voters who don't want to wait until then to cast their ballots can take part in early voting, which starts Thursday, Oct. 25. Visit sos.louisiana.gov/elections/elect-absentee.htm for more information.

- By Keith Goble, state legislative editor