BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — All of Louisiana’s tax assessors can now give themselves car allowances up to 15% of their salaries, under a bill signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards that will authorize the parish officials to pocket an extra $20,000 or more annually.
The House and Senate passed the vehicle allowance in their just-ended legislative session. Edwards’ office announced Thursday that the Democratic governor signed off on the measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Stewart Cathey. The bill took effect immediately.
Lawmakers said assessors earn between $135,000 and $172,000 annually. A 15% vehicle allowance could reach $20,000 to $26,000 a year.
The dollars for the vehicle payments will come from assessors’ existing budgets. A nonpartisan fiscal analysis estimated the car allowances could cost taxpayers across the state more than $1 million a year, if every assessor takes the payment.
The bill is filed as Senate Bill 197.