Eliza Walker Dec. 13, 2013, 4:34pm

NEW ORLEANS – A grassroots group has filed a petition over the constitutionality of a bill that would grant a special, exclusive tax-exemption to a property.

Concerned Citizens of Eastover filed suit against the Eastover Neighborhood Improvement and Security District, Eastover Property Owners Association, Tom Schedler, Louisiana Secrety of State, James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, Louisiana Attorney General and House Bill No. 323 in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Oct. 24.

The petition challenges the constitutionality of House Bill 323, Louisiana Act 244 and the proposed revised statue 33:9091.2.

The petition states that the provisions of House Bill 323 would be placed on a ballot for general election, requesting approval of Louisiana Act 244. They claim the bill is constitutionally flawed because it violates the provisions of Louisiana Constitution Article 3 and 12 by granting a private association or corporation a special, exclusive right, by excepting certain property from taxation. The petition claims that the bill is in direct contravention of the Louisiana Homeowners Association Act, which requires a two-thirds vote to enact building restrictions. In contrast, the bill would change this requirement to a majority vote.

The petition states that the bill is an attempt to circumvent the requirements of the articles of incorporation and the Louisiana Homeowners Association Act to allow more onerous restrictions and increased assessments.

The plaintiffs  claim also relevant to the bill is pending Louisiana Supreme Court case Jackson v. City of New Orleans, which will decide the constitutionality of the City’s present ordinance imposing penalties and collection fees on all delinquent ad valorem tax bills. The petition states that the bill, act and statue are constitutionally infirm and cannot be passed until the Supreme Court case is decided.

The petition sought to remove the bill from the ballot in the general election.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Henry L. Klein of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division H Judge Michael G. Bagneris.

Case no. 2013-10061.

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Louisiana Attorney General
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