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Amendment #8 on Nov. 6 Ballot: Business property tax exemption

Posted: Updated: Oct 18, 2012 06:36 PM

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Amendment number eight on the November 6th ballot could bring new businesses to the state, but at a price. Senator Bob Kostelka voted for the amendment onto the ballot.

But the senator doesn't support the measure that offers tax exemptions for non-manufacturing businesses.

"I see it definitely taking taxes away from local government and local governments would have a hard time passing any other tax to make up for the loss they would incur" said Kostelka.

But the North Louisiana Economic Partnership has endorsed the proposal saying the amendment will spur economic development. Communications Vice President Christine Rambo says the program will give Louisiana competitive advantage attracting out of state distribution facilities, data service centers, and corporate headquarters. "It gives us economic developers a tool to help recruit quality companies that bring quality jobs to our community" said Rambo.

If the amendment passes, individual parishes will have to "opt in" to participate. To do so, parish governments, school board, and law enforcement groups have to agree on the measure. Despite his opposition, Kostelka says he voted the measure onto the ballot to leave the choice up to the people.

"This one deals strictly with local taxes, so parishes who may want it, I think they ought to decide if they want to risk their tax income by doing this."

Retail sales, real estate, and professional services among others would be ineligible for the exemption. The City of Monroe and Ouachita Parish have not taken a stance on the amendment. On Friday October 19, the Monroe Chamber of Commerce take a vote deciding whether to support the proposal.

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