Title 39. Public Finance
Subtitle II. Local Finance
Chapter 4. Bonded Indebtedness and Special Taxes (Refs & Annos)
Part II. Consolidated Local Government Public Finance Act (Refs & Annos)
Subpart B. Authority for Specific Bonds (Refs & Annos)
39:521 General obligation bonds
A. Any governmental entity may incur debt and issue general obligation bonds under the authority of Article VI, Section 33 of the Constitution of Louisiana and this Part, for the purpose of financing any capital expenditures related to the lawful purposes of the governmental entity, title to which shall be in the public. Such bonds may be issued only after having been approved by a majority of the electors who vote in an election held in accordance with the Louisiana Election Code for the purpose of approving the issuance of the bonds. The proposition submitted to the electors shall state the maximum principal amount of bonds to be issued, the maximum term, which shall not exceed forty years, the maximum interest rate, the purposes for which the bonds are proposed to be issued, and the estimated millage rate to be levied for the repayment of such bonds in the first year of issue.
B. After the results of the election have been promulgated in accordance with the Louisiana Election Code, the governing authority of the governmental entity may proceed to issue the bonds within the parameters approved by the electors.
C. (1) The principal amount of bonds to be issued under this Section, together with the principal amount of outstanding general obligation bonds of the governmental entity, as calculated on the total assessed value of the governmental entity, as shown on the most recent assessment prior to the delivery of the bonds, regardless of the date on which the election was held, shall not exceed:
(a) For school boards and school districts, thirty-five percent.
(b) For municipalities and parishes, ten percent for each authorized purpose or thirty-five percent in the aggregate for all purposes.
(c) For all other governmental entities, twenty percent in the aggregate for all purposes.
(2) In the event that the total assessed value of the governmental entity does not appear on the most recent assessment prior to the delivery of the bonds, or if the boundaries of the government entity have been enlarged or significant property added to the total assessed value since the most recent assessment, then the parish or municipal assessor for such governmental entity shall certify the total assessed value of the governmental entity as of the date of delivery of the bonds and such certification shall be used for calculating the debt limits set forth in this Section.
(3) Notwithstanding the foregoing, any governmental entity with a general obligation debt limit under any other provision of law that is in excess of the debt limit set forth in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection may issue general obligation bonds under this Part using such higher debt limit.
D. (1) The full faith and credit of the government entity is hereby pledged to the payment of general obligation bonds issued by such governmental entity under this Part. The governing authority of any governmental entity issuing general obligation bonds under this Part shall impose and collect annually, for as long as any of its general obligation bonds are outstanding and unpaid, in excess of all other taxes and without limit as to rate or amount, a tax on all property subject to taxation by the governmental entity sufficient to pay the interest and the principal falling due each year, or such amount as may be required for any sinking fund necessary to retire said bonds at maturity. The tax shall be levied and collected, for as long as any of its general obligation bonds are outstanding and unpaid by the same officers, at the same time, and in the same manner as the general taxes of the governmental entity and, except as provided in Paragraph (6) of this Subsection, may be expended solely for payment of debt service on such bonds and administrative expenses relating thereto, such as trustee or paying agent fees and other costs directly related to the administration of such bonds. Should the governmental entity neglect or fail for any reason to impose or collect sufficient taxes for the payment of the principal or interest of any bonds issued hereunder, any person in interest may enforce imposition and collection thereof in any court having jurisdiction of the subject matter, and any suit, action, or proceeding brought by such person in interest shall be a preferred cause, and shall be heard and disposed of without delay.
(2) For the purpose of reducing the overall tax burden on taxpayers and easing the administrative burden of accounting for separate tax levies, any governmental entity with more than one outstanding issue or series of general obligation bonds shall levy a single unified tax for the payment of all of such issues or series.
(3) As additional security for the owners of general obligation bonds issued by any special service district that has been created by a parish or municipal governing authority pursuant to a general state law, if there is any default in the imposition and collection of any tax required for the payment of the principal or interest of any general obligation bonds issued by such special service district, then the governing authority of the municipality or parish that created the special service district shall impose and the taxing officers of the parish in which the special service district is situated shall collect at the same time and in the same manner as taxes for parish purposes are imposed and collected, such tax on the taxable property of the special service district as shall be necessary for the payment of the principal and interest on the general obligation bonds of such special service district.
(4) All the articles and provisions of the Constitution of Louisiana, and all the laws in force or that may be enacted on and after July 1, 2018, regulating and relating to the collection of taxes and tax sales shall also apply to and regulate the collection of the special taxes imposed under the provisions of this Part, through the officer whose duty it is to collect the taxes and monies due the subdivision imposing the special taxes.
(5) As additional security for the owners of all general obligation bonds issued by any governmental entity, in the event of any default in the imposition and collection of the taxes required for the payment of such bonds the taxing officers of the state are further authorized and directed to impose and collect the taxes, and shall certify them, and cause them to be imposed and collected at the same time and in the same manner as the taxes for state purposes are imposed and collected in the subdivision incurring the debt.
(6) Upon the payment in full of general obligation bonds, if any excess monies remain in the sinking fund or debt service fund for such bonds, such monies shall be retained therein for the payment of any other outstanding general obligation bonds of the governmental entity, or if the governmental entity has no other outstanding general obligation bonds then such monies may be expended for capital projects similar to those for which the bonds were originally issued.
Added by Acts 2018, No. 569, § 1, eff. July 1, 2018.