Unelected Louisiana board can grant property tax exemptions

An unelected board of 24 people in Louisiana has the apparent power to determine which businesses interested in relocating to the state must or must not pay local property taxes for up to 10 years.

According to the rules specified on the Louisiana Economic Development's website, the state's governor, currently Republican Bobby Jindal, appoints members of the board. Those board members then review and approve applications for a variety of tax incentive programs, the website said.

This entity, known as the Board of Commerce and Industry, recently approved a Birmingham, Ala.-based company for a program exempting it from paying property taxes for up to 10 years, according to a press release.

Officials with that company, Metalplate Galvanizing, plan to open a new facility in Jennings at an unspecified date.

LED officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to an LED press release, the company will invest $9.75 million into the metal galvanizing plant, which officials say will take up 50,000 square feet and create 104 new jobs and 245 indirect jobs.

To secure the project, state officials offered the property tax exemption, otherwise known as the Industrial Tax Exemption program.

Click for more from Watchdog.org.