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New laws enacted for taxing bodies

The Jena Times of Jena, Louisiana

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New laws enacted by the Louisiana Legislature during its 2013 regular session, which went into effect in August, deal with the way any taxing body conducts their meetings and/or call tax mill-age elections.

Act No. 363 deals with the requirements of any non-elected board or commission that has the authority to levy a tax.

The prior law provided that all or any part of the proceedings in a public meeting of said bodies may be video or tape recorded, filmed or broadcast live.

The new law requires that any nonelected board or commission with the authority to levy a tax must either video, audio record, film, or broadcast live all proceedings in a public meeting.

The new law further requires that all existing records or records hereafter accumulated pursuant to new law will be preserved and maintained for a period of at least two years from the date on which the public record was made.

Also, state law requires the secretary of these bodies to maintain minutes of all meetings, and those meeting minutes must be published in the official journal of the parish in which the board or commission is located.

In other words, in the future, any body that has taxing authority, must record their meeting, must keep those recordings on file for at least two years, and must publish the minutes of meetings in the official journal.

Calling Tax Elections

Act No. 267 deals with the way taxing bodies call tax millage elections in the future.

The prior law required all public bodies, except the legislature and its committees, and subcommittees, to give a written public notice of any regular, special or rescheduled meeting no later than 24 hours before the meeting.

The new law retains the provision of the prior law, and additionally requires public notices of the date, time and place and of any meeting at which any political subdivision intends to consider or take action to (1) levy, increase, renew, or continue any ad valorem property tax or sales and use tax; or (2) authorize the calling of an election for submittal of such question to the voters of the political subdivision. It requires that such notice be published in the official journal of the political subdivision no more than 60 days nor less than 30 days before the public hearing and be announced to the public during the course of a public meeting of such political subdivision during that time period.

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Original Publication Date: January 1, 2014

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