Louisiana’s Act 486 of 2018, effective August 1, 2018, changes state open meeting notification requirements when such meetings involve action on certain proposed taxes. The amendment relaxes a burdensome advance notice requirement relating to voter approval of taxes and the required procedure to actually levy local sales and property taxes.
What does current law require?
Louisiana's Open Meetings Law, specifically R.S. 42:19.1, currently requires the governing authorities of a political subdivision to take three actions if it plans to levy, renew or increase a property tax or sales tax, or if it proposes to call an election on levying, renewing or increasing such a tax:
These actions must be taken between 30 and 60 days prior to the date of the tax levy or election call, but do not apply to the levy of hotel occupancy taxes, service charges, parcel fees or other kinds of taxes.
Governing authorities affected by the amendments
City and parish councils, school boards, police juries, and boards of commissioners of other taxing bodies — including water and sewer districts, fire districts, port commissions and other similar units of local government — should be aware of these changes.
Changes made by Act 486 amendments
Specifically, the amendments change the notification period for the three required actions listed above to include the period between 20 days (instead of 30 days) and 60 days prior to the actual public meeting at which the election will be called, or the sales or property tax levied, renewed or increased.
Next steps for governing authorities
Our team is ready to help you assess how these changes will affect you and how to prepare. Contact the authors of this alert with questions or for more information on how Adams and Reese is prepared to assist entities in the wake of this change.