Tax Exemption for Louisiana Rigs Fails

The constitutional amendment to exempt some drilling rigs from Louisiana property taxes failed on Election Day. The amendment, which would have pertained to offshore structures that were brought to land for refurbishment and repair, failed by 50,000 votes. The results differed sharply by region, with most of the coastal parishes supporting the plan and most of central and northern Louisiana voting against the proposal. The offshore rigs are only subject to property tax when they are moved within the state's territorial borders for repair for storage. The oil and gas industry strongly backed the proposition.

The measure, authored by Sen. Craig Romero, R-New Iberia, was intended to place Louisiana shipyards on a level playing field with competing yards in Texas and Mississippi, neither of which levy property taxes on offshore structures when they are repaired.

Citing the narrow margin of defeat, proponents said they would try to revive the amendment in the future.