Documents > State Constitution of 1974 > Article VI


ARTICLE VI. LOCAL GOVERNMENT

PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.  Parishes

Section 1.(A) Parishes and Boundaries Ratified. Parishes and their boundaries as established on the effective date of this constitution are recognized and ratified.

(B) Creation; Dissolution; Merger; Boundaries. The legislature by law may establish and organize new parishes, dissolve and merge parishes, and change parish boundaries if approved by two-thirds of the electors in each parish affected voting thereon at an election held for that purpose.

(C) Change of Parish Seat. The governing authority of a parish may call an election on the question of changing the parish seat. The parish seat shall be changed if approved by two-thirds of the electors voting thereon.

(D) Adjustment of Assets and Liabilities. When a parish is enlarged or established from contiguous territory, it shall be entitled to a just proportion of the property and assets and shall be liable for a just proportion of the existing debts and liabilities of the parish or parishes from which the territory is taken.

2. Municipalities

Section 2. The legislature shall provide by general law for the incorporation, consolidation, merger, and government of municipalities. No local or special law shall create a municipal corporation or amend, modify, or repeal a municipal charter. However, a special legislative charter existing on the effective date of this constitution may be amended, modified, or repealed by local or special law.

3. Classification

Section 3. The legislature may classify parishes or municipalities according to population or on any other reasonable basis related to the purpose of the classification. Legislation may be limited in its effect to any of such class or classes.

4. Existing Home Rule Charters and Plans of Government

Section 4. Every home rule charter or plan of government existing or adopted when this constitution is adopted shall remain in effect and may be amended, modified, or repealed as provided therein. Except as inconsistent with this constitution, each local governmental subdivision which has adopted such a home rule charter or plan of government shall retain the powers, functions, and duties in effect when this constitution is adopted. If its charter permits, each of them also shall have the right to powers and functions granted to other local governmental subdivisions.

5. Home Rule Charter

Section 5.(A) Authority to Adopt; Commission. Subject to and not inconsistent with this constitution, any local governmental subdivision may draft, adopt, or amend a home rule charter in accordance with this Section. The governing authority of a local governmental subdivision may appoint a commission to prepare and propose a charter or an alternate charter, or it may call an election to elect such a commission.

(B) Petition to Elect Commission. The governing authority shall call an election to elect such a commission when presented with a petition signed by not less than ten percent of the electors or ten thousand electors, whichever is fewer, who live within the boundaries of the affected subdivision, as certified by the registrar of voters.

(C) Adoption; Amendment; Repeal. A home rule charter shall be adopted, amended, or repealed when approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at an election held for that purpose.

(D) Adoption by Two or More Local Governmental Subdivisions. Two or more local governmental subdivisions within the boundaries of one parish may adopt a home rule charter under this Section if approved by a majority of the electors in each affected local governmental subdivision voting thereon in an election held for that purpose. The legislature shall provide by law the method of appointment or election of a commission to prepare and propose a charter consistent with Paragraph (A) of this Section and the method by which the electors may petition for an election consistent with Paragraph (B) of this Section. However, at least one member of the commission shall be elected or appointed from each affected local governmental subdivision.

(E) Structure and Organization; Powers; Functions. A home rule charter adopted under this Section shall provide the structure and organization, powers, and functions of the government of the local governmental subdivision, which may include the exercise of any power and performance of any function necessary, requisite, or proper for the management of its affairs, not denied by general law or inconsistent with this constitution.

(F) Additional Powers and Functions. Except as prohibited by its charter, a local governmental subdivision adopting a home rule charter under this Section shall have the additional powers and functions granted to local governmental subdivisions by other provisions of this constitution.

(G) Parish Officials and School Boards Not Affected. No home rule charter or plan of government shall contain any provision affecting a school board or the offices of district attorney, sheriff, assessor, clerk of a district court, or coroner, which is inconsistent with this constitution or law.

6. Home Rule Charter or Plan of Government; Action by Legislature Prohibited

Section 6. The legislature shall enact no law the effect of which changes or affects the structure and organization or the particular distribution and redistribution of the powers and functions of any local governmental subdivision which operates under a home rule charter.

7. Powers of Other Local Governmental Subdivisions

Section 7.(A) Powers and Functions. Subject to and not inconsistent with this constitution, the governing authority of a local governmental subdivision which has no home rule charter or plan of government may exercise any power and perform any function necessary, requisite, or proper for the management of its affairs, not denied by its charter or by general law, if a majority of the electors voting in an election held for that purpose vote in favor of the proposition that the governing authority may exercise such general powers. Otherwise, the local governmental subdivision shall have the powers authorized by this constitution or by law.

(B) Parish Officials and School Boards Not Affected. Nothing in this Section shall affect the powers and functions of a school board or the offices of district attorney, sheriff, assessor, clerk of a district court, or coroner.

8. Home Rule Parish; Incorporation of Cities, Towns, and Villages

Section 8. No parish plan of government or home rule charter shall prohibit the incorporation of a city, town, or village as provided by general law.

9. Limitations of Local Governmental Subdivisions

Section 9.(A) Limitations. No local governmental subdivision shall (1) define and provide for the punishment of a felony; or (2) except as provided by law, enact an ordinance governing private or civil relationships.

(B) Police Power Not Abridged. Notwithstanding any provision of this Article, the police power of the state shall never be abridged.

10. Codification of Ordinances

Section 10. Within two years after the effective date of this constitution, the governing authority of each political subdivision shall have a code prepared containing all of its general ordinances. When the code is prepared, the governing authority shall make copies available for public distribution. All general ordinances adopted after the approval of the code shall be amendments or additions to the code.

11. Local Officials

Section 11. The electors of each local governmental subdivision shall have the exclusive right to elect their governing authority. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the election of the members from single-member districts.

12. Local Officials; Compensation

Section 12. The compensation or method of fixing the compensation of an elected official of any local governmental subdivision which operates under a home rule charter or plan of government, as provided in Sections 4 and 5 of this Article, shall be provided in its charter. The compensation or method of fixing the compensation of an elected official of any other local governmental subdivision shall be provided by law. Compensation of a local official shall not be reduced during the term for which he is elected.

13. Vacancies

Section 13.(A) Vacancy; Appointment. Except as otherwise provided by this constitution, a vacancy in any local office filled by election wholly within the boundaries of a local governmental subdivision or a school district shall be filled by appointment by the particular governing authority of the local governmental subdivision or school district in which the vacancy occurs, until it is filled by election as provided by law.

(B) Exception. This Section shall apply to each local governmental subdivision unless otherwise provided by its home rule charter or plan of government.

14. Increasing Financial Burden of Political Subdivisions

Section 14.(A)(1) No law or state executive order, rule, or regulation requiring increased expenditures for any purpose shall become effective within a political subdivision until approved by ordinance enacted, or resolution adopted, by the governing authority of the affected political subdivision or until, and only as long as, the legislature appropriates funds for the purpose to the affected political subdivision and only to the extent and amount that such funds are provided, or until a law provides for a local source of revenue within the political subdivision for the purpose and the affected political subdivision is authorized by ordinance or resolution to levy and collect such revenue and only to the extent and amount of such revenue. This Paragraph shall not apply to a school board.

(2) This Paragraph shall not apply to:

(a) A law requested by the governing authority of the affected political subdivision.

(b) A law defining a new crime or amending an existing crime.

(c) A law enacted and effective prior to the adoption of the amendment of this Section by the electors of the state in 1991.

(d) A law enacted, or state executive order, rule, or regulation promulgated, to comply with a federal mandate.

(e) A law providing for civil service, minimum wages, hours, working conditions, and pension and retirement benefits, or vacation or sick leave benefits for firemen and municipal policemen.

(f) Any instrument adopted or enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature and any rule or regulation adopted to implement such instrument or adopted pursuant thereto.

(g) A law having insignificant fiscal impact on the affected political subdivision.

(B)(1) No law requiring increased expenditures within a city, parish, or other local public school system for any purpose shall become effective within such school system only as long as the legislature appropriates funds for the purpose to the affected school system and only to the extent and amount that such funds are provided, or until a law provides for a local source of revenue within the school system for the purpose and the affected school board is authorized by ordinance or resolution to levy and collect such revenue and only to the extent and amount of such revenue. This Paragraph shall not apply to any political subdivision to which Paragraph (A) of this Section applies.

(2) This Paragraph shall not apply to:

(a) A law requested by the school board of the affected school system.

(b) A law defining a new crime or amending an existing crime.

(c) A law enacted and effective prior to the adoption of the amendment of this Section by the electors of the state in 2006.

(d) A law enacted to comply with a federal mandate.

(e) Any instrument adopted or enacted by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.

(f) A law having insignificant fiscal impact on the affected school system.

(g) The formula for the Minimum Foundation Program of education as required by Article VIII, Section 13(B) of this constitution, nor to any instrument adopted or enacted by the legislature approving such formula.

(h) Any law relative to the implementation of the state school and district accountability system.

Acts 1991, No. 1066, 1, approved Oct. 19, 1991, eff. Nov. 21, 1991; Acts 2006, No. 855, 1, approved Sept. 30, 2006, eff. Oct. 31, 2006.

15. Local Governmental Subdivisions; Control Over Agencies

Section 15. The governing authority of a local governmental subdivision shall have general power over any agency heretofore or hereafter created by it, including, without limitation, the power to abolish the agency and require prior approval of any charge or tax levied or bond issued by the agency.

16. Special Districts and Local Public Agencies

Section 16.(A) Consolidation. A local governmental subdivision may consolidate and merge into itself any special district or local public agency, except a school district, situated and having jurisdiction entirely within the boundaries of the local governmental subdivision. Upon the consolidation and merger, the local governmental subdivision shall succeed to and be vested with all of the rights, revenues, resources, jurisdiction, authority, and powers of the special district or local public agency. A consolidation and merger shall become effective only if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in the local governmental subdivision as a whole and by a majority of the electors voting thereon in the affected special district. A local public agency shall be consolidated and merged only if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in an election held for that purpose in the local governmental subdivision in which the agency is located.

(B) Assumption of Debt. If the special district or local public agency which is consolidated and merged has outstanding indebtedness, the authority provided by this Section shall not be exercised unless provision is made for the assumption of the indebtedness by the governing authority of the local governmental subdivision involved.

17. Land Use; Zoning; Historic Preservation

Section 17. Subject to uniform procedures established by law, a local governmental subdivision may (1) adopt regulations for land use, zoning, and historic preservation, which authority is declared to be a public purpose; (2) create commissions and districts to implement those regulations; (3) review decisions of any such commission; and (4) adopt standards for use, construction, demolition, and modification of areas and structures. Existing constitutional authority for historic preservation commissions is retained.

18. Industrial Areas

Section 18.(A) Authorization. The legislature by law may authorize parishes to create and define industrial areas within their boundaries in accordance with procedures and subject to regulations which it determines. An industrial area shall not be a political subdivision of the state.

(B) Access by Public Road; Police Protection. When an industrial area is so created, provision shall be made for access by public road to each entrance to the premises of every plant in the area, which is provided for use by employees of the company, or for use by employees of independent contractors working on the premises, or for delivery of materials or supplies, other than by rail or water transportation, to the premises. Police protection provided by any plant in an industrial area shall be confined to the premises of that plant.

19. Special Districts; Creation

Section 19. Subject to and not inconsistent with this constitution, the legislature by general law or by local or special law may create or authorize the creation of special districts, boards, agencies, commissions, and authorities of every type, define their powers, and grant to the special districts, boards, agencies, commissions, and authorities so created such rights, powers, and authorities as it deems proper, including, but not limited to, the power of taxation and the power to incur debt and issue bonds.

20. Intergovernmental Cooperation

Section 20. Except as otherwise provided by law, a political subdivision may exercise and perform any authorized power and function, including financing, jointly or in cooperation with one or more political subdivisions, either within or without the state, or with the United States or its agencies.

21. Assistance to Local Industry

Section 21.(A) Authorization. In order to (1) induce and encourage the location of or addition to industrial enterprises therein which would have economic impact upon the area and thereby the state, (2) provide for the establishment and furnishing of such industrial plant, (3) facilitate the operation of public ports, or (4) provide movable or immovable property, or both, for pollution control facilities, the legislature by law may authorize, subject to restrictions it may impose, any political subdivision, public port commission, or public port, harbor, and terminal district to:

(a) issue bonds, subject to approval by the State Bond Commission or its successor, and use the funds derived from the sale of the bonds to acquire and improve industrial plant sites and other property necessary to the purposes thereof;

(b) acquire, through purchase, donation, exchange, and expropriation, and improve industrial plant buildings and industrial plant equipment, machinery, furnishings, and appurtenances, including public port facilities and operations which relate to or facilitate the transportation of goods in domestic and international commerce; and

(c) sell, lease, lease-purchase, or demolish all or any part of the foregoing.

(B) Property Expropriated; Sale to Aliens Prohibited. No property expropriated under the authority of this Section shall ever, directly or indirectly, be sold or donated to any foreign power, any alien, or any corporation in which the majority of the stock is controlled by any foreign power, alien corporation, or alien.

(C) Exception. This Section shall not apply to a school board.

(D) Property excepted. The bona fide homestead, as defined by Article VII, Section 20(A)(1), shall not be subject to expropriation pursuant to this Section.

Amended by Acts 2006, No. 851, 1, approved Sept. 30, 2006, eff. Oct. 31, 2006.

22. Procedure for Certain Special Elections

Section 22. When an election is required in a political subdivision under the provisions of this constitution which require submission to the electors of a proposition or question, the election shall be called, conducted, and the returns thereof canvassed, in accordance with the procedures established by the law then in effect pertaining to elections for incurring bonded indebtedness and special taxes relative to local finance, or as may be otherwise provided by law.

23. Acquisition of Property

Section 23. Subject to and not inconsistent with this constitution and subject to restrictions provided by general law, political subdivisions may acquire property for any public purpose by purchase, donation, expropriation, exchange, or otherwise.

24. Servitudes of Way; Acquisition by Prescription

Section 24. The public, represented by local governmental subdivisions, may acquire servitudes of way by prescription in the manner prescribed by law.

25. Courts Not Affected

Section 25. Notwithstanding any provision of this Article, courts and their officers may be established or affected only as provided in Article V of this constitution.

PART II. FINANCE

26. Parish Ad Valorem Tax

Section 26.(A) Parish Tax for General Purposes; Millage Limits; Increase. The governing authority of a parish may levy annually an ad valorem tax for general purposes not to exceed four mills on the dollar of assessed valuation. However, in Orleans Parish the limitation shall be seven mills, and in Jackson Parish the limitation shall be five mills. Millage rates may be increased in any parish when approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in an election held for that purpose.

(B) Millage Increase Not for General Purposes. When the millage increase is for other than general purposes, the proposition shall state the specific purpose or purposes for which the tax is to be levied and the length of time the tax is to remain in effect. All proceeds of the tax shall be used solely for the purpose or purposes set forth in the proposition.

(C) Parish Tax in Municipality. The amount of the parish tax for general purposes which any parish, except Orleans Parish, may levy, without a vote of the electors, on property located wholly within any municipality which has a population exceeding one thousand inhabitants according to the last federal decennial census, or other census authorized by law, and which provides and maintains a system of street paving, shall not exceed one-half the tax levy for general purposes.

(D) Withdrawal from Parish Taxing Authority. This Section shall not affect the withdrawal of property in a municipality from parish taxing authority, in whole or in part, by a provision of the legislative charter of a municipality in effect on the effective date of this constitution.

(E) Additional Taxes for Orleans Parish. In addition to any millage authorized by Paragraph (A) of this Section, the governing authority of Orleans Parish may levy annually, for the year 1991 and thereafter, an additional ad valorem tax for fire protection not to exceed five mills on the dollar of assessed valuation and an additional ad valorem tax for police protection not to exceed five mills on the dollar of assessed valuation. The millage rates for such additional ad valorem taxes may not be increased. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article VII, Section 20(A), the homestead exemption shall not extend to such additional ad valorem taxes. Provided, however, that the additional revenues generated by these fire and police millages shall not displace, replace, or supplant funding by the city of New Orleans for fire and police protection for calendar year 1990 nor shall the level of funding for such purposes by the city for that calendar year be decreased below such level in any calendar year hereafter. In the event of either of the above, the authorization for such fire and police millages herein shall be null, void, and of no effect. This provision shall mean that no appropriation for any calendar year from such additional revenues shall be made for any purpose for which a city appropriation was made in the previous year unless the total appropriations for that calendar year from the city for such purpose exceed city appropriations for the previous year. This provision shall in no way limit city appropriations in excess of the minimum amounts herein established.

Amended by Acts 1990, No. 1103, 1, approved Oct. 6, 1990, eff. Nov. 8, 1990.

27.  Municipal Ad Valorem Tax

Section 27.(A) Municipal Tax for General Purposes; Millage Limits; Increase. The governing authority of a municipality may levy annually an ad valorem tax for general purposes not to exceed seven mills on the dollar of assessed valuation. However, if a municipality, by its charter or by law, is exempt from payment of parish taxes or, under legislative or constitutional authority, maintains its own public schools, it may levy an annual tax not to exceed ten mills on the dollar of assessed valuation. Millage rates may be increased in any municipality when approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in an election held for that purpose.

(B) Millage Increase Not for General Purposes. When the millage increase is for other than general purposes, the proposition shall state the specific purpose or purposes for which the tax is to be levied and the length of time the tax is to remain in effect. All proceeds of the tax shall be used solely for the purpose or purposes set forth in the proposition.

(C) Exception. This Section shall not apply to the city of New Orleans.

28.  Local Governmental Subdivisions; Occupational License Tax

Section 28. The governing authority of a local governmental subdivision may impose an occupational license tax not greater than that imposed by the state. Those who pay a municipal occupational license tax shall be exempt from a parish occupational license tax in the amount of the municipal tax. The governing authority of a local governmental subdivision may impose an occupational license tax greater than that imposed by the state when authorized by law enacted by the favorable vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature.

29.  Local Governmental Subdivisions and School Boards; Sales Tax

Section 29.(A) Sales Tax Authorized. Except as otherwise authorized in a home rule charter as provided for in Section 4 of this Article, the governing authority of any local governmental subdivision or school board may levy and collect a tax upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services as defined by law, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in an election held for that purpose. The rate thereof, when combined with the rate of all other sales and use taxes, exclusive of state sales and use taxes, levied and collected within any local governmental subdivision, shall not exceed three percent.

(B) Additional Sales Tax Authorized. However, the legislature, by general or by local or special law, may authorize the imposition of additional sales and use taxes by local governmental subdivisions or school boards, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in an election held for that purpose.

(C) Bonds; Security. Nothing in this Section shall affect any sales or use tax authorized or imposed on the effective date of this constitution or affect or impair the security of any bonds payable from the proceeds of the tax.

(D) Exemptions; Protection of Bonds. Except when bonds secured thereby have been authorized, the legislature may provide for the exemption or exclusion of any goods, tangible personal property, or services from sales or use taxes only pursuant to one of the following:

(1) Exemptions or exclusions uniformly applicable to the taxes of all local governmental subdivisions, school boards, and other political subdivisions whose boundaries are not coterminous with those of the state.

(2) Exemptions or exclusions applicable to the taxes of the state or applicable to political subdivisions whose boundaries are coterminous with those of the state, or both.

(3) Exemptions or exclusions uniformly applicable to the taxes of all the tax authorities in the state.

Amended by Acts 1996, No. 46, , approved Nov. 5, 1996, eff. Dec. 11, 1996.

30.  Political Subdivisions; Taxing Power

Section 30.(A) A political subdivision may exercise the power of taxation, subject to limitations elsewhere provided by this constitution, under authority granted by the legislature for parish, municipal, and other local purposes, strictly public in their nature. This Section shall not affect similar grants to political subdivisions under self-operative sections of this constitution.

(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (A) of this Section, or any other provision of law to the contrary, no political subdivision shall submit the same tax proposition, or a new tax proposition that includes such a tax proposition, to the electorate more than once within a six month period except in the case of an emergency as determined by the governing authority of the political subdivision.

Amended by Acts 1995, No. 1329, 1, approved Oct. 21, 1995, eff. Nov. 23, 1995.

30.1.  Bonding and Taxing Authority of Certain Political Subdivisions and Other Public Entities

Section 30.1.(A) The Louisiana Recovery District shall have no power or authority, directly or indirectly, to incur debt or issue bonds after the effective date of this Section except to refund any such outstanding debt or bonds at a lower effective rate of interest. Any debt or bonds issued and outstanding on the effective date of this Section, or any debt incurred or bonds issued to refund such indebtedness or bonds as authorized by this Section shall be retired no later than the end of Fiscal Year 1998-1999. At such time as there is no debt or bonds of the Louisiana Recovery District outstanding, the Louisiana Recovery District shall cease to exist and any authority or power of the district shall be null and void. The Louisiana Recovery District shall not levy a new tax or increase any existing tax of the district.

(B) The legislature shall not grant any power of taxation or power to incur debt or issue bonds to any one or more political subdivisions, special districts, agencies, boards, commissions, or other authorities created by the legislature for the purpose of generating revenue for the state whose boundary or combined boundaries are coterminous with the state, except by law enacted by a favorable record vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature. This Paragraph shall not apply to the Louisiana Recovery District.

(C) Except as provided in Paragraphs (A) and (B), this Section shall not apply to any political subdivision, special district, agency, board, commission, municipality, parish, school board, levee district, port, or to any other similar authority.

Added by Acts 1994, No. 48, 1, approved Oct. 1, 1994, eff. Nov. 3, 1994.

31.  Taxes; Ratification

Section 31. Any tax validly being levied by a political subdivision under prior legislative or constitutional authority on the effective date of this constitution is ratified.

32.  Special Taxes; Authorization

Section 32. For the purpose of acquiring, constructing, improving, maintaining, or operating any work of public improvement, a political subdivision may levy special taxes when authorized by a majority of the electors in the political subdivision who vote thereon in an election held for that purpose.

33.  Political Subdivisions; General Obligation Bonds

Section 33.(A) Authorization. Subject to approval by the State Bond Commission or its successor, general obligation bonds may be issued only after authorization by a majority of the electors voting on the proposition at an election in the political subdivision issuing the bonds. Bonds to refund outstanding indebtedness at the same or at a lower effective rate of interest, even though payable solely from ad valorem taxes, need not be authorized at an election if the indebtedness refunded is paid or cancelled at the time of the delivery of the refunding bonds, or if money, or securities made eligible for such purpose by law, are deposited in escrow in an adequate amount, with interest, to be utilized solely to retire the refunded indebtedness or bonds and to pay interest thereon and redemption premiums, if any, to the time of retirement.

(B) Full Faith and Credit. The full faith and credit of a political subdivision is hereby pledged to the payment of general obligation bonds issued by it under this constitution or the statute or proceedings pursuant to which they are issued. The governing authority of the issuing political subdivision shall levy and collect or cause to be levied and collected on all taxable property in the political subdivision ad valorem taxes sufficient to pay principal and interest and redemption premiums, if any, on such bonds as they mature.

34.  Limitations on Bonded Indebtedness

Section 34. The legislature by law shall fix the limitation on bonded indebtedness payable solely from ad valorem taxes levied by political subdivisions.

35.  Contesting Political Subdivision Bonds

Section 35.(A) Contesting Election; Time Limit. For sixty days after promulgation of the result of an election held to incur or assume debt, issue bonds, or levy a tax, any person in interest may contest the legality of the election, the bond issue provided for, or the tax authorized, for any cause. After that time no one shall have any cause or right of action to contest the regularity, formality, or legality of the election, tax provisions, or bond authorization, for any cause whatsoever. If the validity of any election, tax, debt assumption, or bond issue authorized or provided for is not raised within the sixty days, the authority to incur or assume debt, levy the tax, or issue the bonds, the legality thereof, and the taxes and other revenues necessary to pay the same shall be conclusively presumed to be valid, and no court shall have authority to inquire into such matters.

(B) Contesting Ordinance or Resolution; Time Limit. Every ordinance or resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds or other debt obligation by a political subdivision shall be published at least once in the official journal of the political subdivision or, if there is none, in a newspaper having general circulation therein. For thirty days after the date of publication, any person in interest may contest the legality of the ordinance or resolution and of any provision therein made for the security and payment of the bonds. After that time, no one shall have any cause of action to test the regularity, formality, legality, or effectiveness of the ordinance or resolution, and provisions thereof for any cause whatever. Thereafter, it shall be conclusively presumed that every legal requirement for the issuance of the bonds or other debt obligation, including all things pertaining to the election, if any, at which the bonds or other debt obligation were authorized, has been complied with. No court shall have authority to inquire into any of these matters after the thirty days.

36.  Local Improvement Assessments

Section 36.(A) Authorization. The legislature shall provide by general law or by local or special law the procedures by which a political subdivision may levy and collect local or special assessments on real property for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, or improving works of public improvement.

(B) Certificates of Indebtedness; Security. Certificates of indebtedness may be issued to cover the cost of any such public improvement. They shall be secured by the pledge of the local or special assessments levied therefor and may be further secured by the pledge of the full faith and credit of the political subdivision.

(C) Exception. This Section shall not apply to a school board.

37.  Revenue-Producing Property

Section 37.(A) Authorization. The legislature by law may authorize political subdivisions to issue bonds or other debt obligations to construct, acquire, extend, or improve any revenue-producing public utility or work of public improvement. The bonds or other debt obligations may be secured by mortgage on the lands, buildings, machinery, and equipment or by the pledge of the income and revenues of the public utility or work of public improvement. They shall not be a charge upon the other income and revenues of the political subdivision.

(B) Exception. This Section shall not apply to a school board.

PART III. LEVEE DISTRICTS

38.  Levee Districts

Section 38.1.(A) Establishment. (1) The legislature by law may establish regional flood protection authorities, with territorial jurisdiction limited to parishes and levee districts which are situated entirely or partially within the coastal zone as described in R.S. 49:214.24 as of the effective date of this Section, and provide for their territorial jurisdiction, governing authority, powers, duties, and functions for the purpose of constructing and maintaining levees, levee drainage, flood protection, and hurricane flood protection within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority, and for all other purposes incidental thereto. Each authority shall be governed by a board of commissioners which shall also be the governing authority of each levee district within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority.

(2) The legislature, by law, may include within territorial jurisdiction of the regional flood protection authority one or more parishes or portions of parishes which are included in one or more levee districts that are not included within territorial jurisdiction of the authority. The inclusion of such parishes or portions of parishes shall not affect the authority of the respective levee district (a) to levy taxes in such areas nor prohibit the levy of taxes provided for in this Section in such areas, (b) to employ and provide for its employees, or (c) to own, construct, and maintain its property.

(B) Authority-wide Tax. In addition to the taxes authorized to be levied by any levee district situated within the territorial jurisdiction of a regional flood protection authority, the board of commissioners of the authority may levy annually a tax on the dollar of the assessed valuation of all property not exempt from taxation situated within the territorial jurisdiction of the authority. The necessity and the levy and rate of the tax, or any increase thereof, shall be subject to the provisions of Article VII, Section 20 of this Constitution and shall be subject to the provisions of Article VII, Section 21(F) of this Constitution and shall be submitted to the electors within the authority, and the tax or increase shall take effect only if approved by:

(1) A majority of the electors voting thereon within that authority, and

(2) Each of the parishes in that authority, by a majority of the electors voting thereon in each parish, in an election held for that purpose.

(C) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article VII, Section 10.2(D) of this Constitution, the legislature may appropriate up to five hundred thousand dollars annually to regional flood protection authorities from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund.

(D) Obligation of Contract Affirmed. No action taken under this Section shall impair the obligation of outstanding bonded indebtedness or of any other contract of a levee district.

(E) The phrase "levee district" when used in Sections 40 and 41 of this Part and in Articles VII and IX of this Constitution shall include regional flood protection authorities.

Added by Acts 2006, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 43, 1, approved Sept. 30, 2006, eff. Oct. 31, 2006.

39.  Levee District Taxes

Section 39.(A) District Tax; Millage Limit. For the purpose of constructing and maintaining levees, levee drainage, flood protection, hurricane flood protection, and for all other purposes incidental thereto, the governing authority of a levee district created prior to January 1, 2006, may levy annually a tax not to exceed five mills, except the Board of Levee Commissioners of the Orleans Levee District which may levy annually a tax not to exceed two and one-half mills on the dollar of the assessed valuation of all taxable property situated within the alluvial portions of the district subject to overflow.

(B) Millage Increase. If the necessity to raise additional funds arises in any levee district created prior to January 1, 2006, for any purpose set forth in Paragraph (A) of this Section, or for any other purpose related to its authorized powers and functions as specified by law, the tax may be increased. However, the necessity and the rate of the increase shall be submitted to the electors of the district, and the tax increase shall take effect only if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon in an election held for that purpose.

(C) Districts Created After January 1, 2006. For any purpose set forth in Paragraph (A) of this Section, the governing authority of a levee district created after January 1, 2006, may annually levy a tax on all property not exempt from taxation situated within the alluvial portions of the district subject to overflow. However, such a district shall not levy such a tax nor increase the rate of such a tax unless the levy or the increase is approved by a majority of the electors of the district who vote in an election held for that purpose. If the district is comprised of territory in more than one parish, approval by a majority of the electors who vote in each parish comprising the district is also required for any such levy or increase.

Amended by Acts 2006, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 43, 1, approved Sept. 30, 2006, eff. Oct. 31, 2006.

40.  Bond Issues

Section 40.(A) Authorization. Subject to approval by the State Bond Commission or its successor, the governing authority of a levee district may fund the proceeds of its taxes or other revenues into bonds or other evidences of indebtedness. Proceeds thus derived shall be used for the purposes mentioned in Part III of this Article or for the funding or payment of any outstanding indebtedness.

(B) Sale. Bonds issued under the authority of Paragraph (A) shall be sold as provided by law concerning the issuance of bonds by levee districts.

41.  Cooperation with Federal Government

Section 41. The governing authority of any levee district may cooperate with the federal government in constructing and maintaining levees in this state, under terms and conditions provided by the federal authorities and accepted by the governing authority.

42.  Compensation for Property Used or Destroyed; Tax

Section 42.(A) Compensation. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this constitution, lands and improvements thereon hereafter actually used or destroyed for levees or levee drainage purposes shall be paid for as provided by law. With respect to lands and improvements actually used or destroyed in the construction, enlargement, improvement, or modification of federal or non-federal hurricane protection projects, including mitigation related thereto, such payment shall not exceed the amount of compensation authorized under Article I, Section 4(G) of this constitution. However, nothing contained in this Paragraph with respect to compensation for lands and improvements shall apply to batture or to property the control of which is vested in the state or any political subdivision for the purpose of commerce. If the district has no other funds or resources from which the payment can be made, it shall levy on all taxable property within the district a tax sufficient to pay for property used or destroyed to be used solely in the district where collected.

(B) Appropriation. Nothing in this Section shall prevent the appropriation of such property before payment.

Amended by Acts 2006, No. 853, 2, approved Sept. 30, 2006, eff. Oct. 31, 2006.

PART IV. PORT COMMISSIONS AND DISTRICTS

43.  Port Commissions and Districts

Section 43. All deep-water port commissions and all deep-water port, harbor, and terminal districts as organized and constituted on January 1, 1974, including their powers and functions, structure and organization, and territorial jurisdiction, are ratified and confirmed and shall continue to exist, except that

(1) The legislature by law may grant additional powers and functions to any such commission or district and may create new port commissions or port, harbor, and terminal districts.

(2) Only by law enacted by the favorable vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house, may the legislature consolidate or abolish any such commission or district or diminish, reduce, or withdraw from any such commission or district any of its powers and functions and affect the structure and organization, distribution, and redistribution of the powers and functions of any such commission or district, including additions to or reductions of its territorial jurisdiction.

(3) The legislature shall enact laws with respect to the membership of the commissions provided in this Section. Once the law with respect to membership is enacted, it may be changed only by law enacted by the favorable vote of two-thirds of the elected members of each house.

PART V. DEFINITIONS

44.  Terms Defined

Section 44. As used in this Article:

(1) "Local governmental subdivision" means any parish or municipality.

(2) "Political subdivision" means a parish, municipality, and any other unit of local government, including a school board and a special district, authorized by law to perform governmental functions.

(3) "Municipality" means an incorporated city, town, or village.

(4) "Governing authority" means the body which exercises the legislative functions of the political subdivision.

(5) "General law" means a law of statewide concern enacted by the legislature which is uniformly applicable to all persons or to all political subdivisions in the state or which is uniformly applicable to all persons or to all political subdivisions within the same class.

(6) "General obligation bonds" means those bonds, the principal and interest of which are secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes levied without limitation as to rate or amount.

(7) "Deep-water port commissions" and "deep-water port, harbor, and terminal districts" mean those commissions or districts within whose territorial jurisdiction exist facilities capable of accommodating vessels of at least twenty-five feet of draft and of engaging in foreign commerce.

Questions and comments may be directed to websen@legis.la.gov.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana.