Louisiana is the only state in the nation to allow a state-level board to approve corporate tax exemptions from local property taxes, without the approval of the local entities paying the cost of those exemptions. It's called the industrial tax exemption program (ITEP), and it has grown into the largest program of state subsidies to corporations in the nation.
In 2017, local governments are losing $1.9 billion due to ITEP exemptions. The entities hardest hit by ITEP are Louisiana’s public schools. Louisiana’s school districts are losing $720 million in revenue this year due to ITEP, fully 20% of total state and local funding for public schools. The exemptions also affect the budgets of cities, parishes, sheriffs departments, fire districts, libraries, parks — any entity that receives revenue from a local property tax millage.
It's time to reign in these exemptions. This petition supports requiring:
1) Public hearings and votes by local public bodies before any exemption is approved.
2) Clear criteria and standards for public benefits, by which exemptions are assessed.
3) No exemptions without contractually-obligated job creation.
4) No exemptions for investments corporations would have made without subsidies.
Read a detailed study on itep here.
See how your parish is affected here.