Constitutional Amendment No. 6 Wins; Neighborhoods celebrate
Lost in all the national election drama Nov. 6, as well as the history-making amendment vote on unanimous juries in Louisiana, was a citizen-led effort that ended in triumph for Louisiana Amendment No. 6, a measure that could directly affect homeowners across the state.
You could think of Amendment 6 as “The People’s Amendment.” It represents a true grassroots effort seeking to buffer homeowners’ property tax bills when their home value assessments rise 50% or more in a single year. It spreads the hit of a higher tax assessment over four years.
The idea for Amendment No. 6 was born at a classic neighborhood meeting of the New Orleans’ Riverfront Neighborhood Alliance. Member groups complained about sky-rocketing assessments, due in part to whole house short-term rentals invading historic neighborhoods and pushing up property values. The groups met with their state senator, J.P. Morrell, who agreed to turn this citizen idea into a bill. It passed the Legislature earlier this year, but then needed approval from a majority of voters in Louisiana Tuesday night!
Neighborhood activists built support for the amendment by reaching out to other neighborhood and preservation groups around Louisiana. They sent letters to the editor. They used email, social media and an extremely modest digital advertising campaign to spread the word.
This small, but meaningful, victory for the People’s Amendment shows what citizen-led efforts can produce.
Founded in 2007, the Riverfront Neighborhood Alliance is a coalition of New Orleans area neighborhood organizations stretching along both sides of the Mississippi River, including the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, Bywater, Algiers and Holy Cross, plus citywide preservation groups like the Louisiana Landmarks Society and the Preservation Resource Center.