The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from Dennis Coleman. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. Coleman and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal. If you have an article for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.
Just this week, I was confronted by the tax that is forced on every driver who braves the Parish roads of Natchitoches Parish. No, I’m not talking about some millage or sales tax or any other tax that may be imposed or levied on the citizens of the Parish. What I’m talking about is a much broader tax than that. One part of the tax is that fee that every driver pays in increased repairs for front-end alignments, broken shocks or struts, broken cv joints and on and on–what some people call “Wear and Tear.” It doesn’t matter where you live, where you vote or where you own property if you drive on these roads, YOU ARE BEING TAXED. Additionally, when that wear and tear catches up with you sooner rather than later and you decide it’s time to trade-in your car, don’t expect too sweet a deal. That car dealer will pick your car apart; it’ll seem like they deduct for every pothole that you did not miss. And your road-worn car won’t bring much…you pay that TAX again.
I’ll agree that, due to the recent heavy rains, the roads have taken a beating, but the roads were just as bad 30 or more years ago. Thirty years, that’s a long time. Well, since then some of my friends and family have voted against every proposed road tax that has been placed on the ballot and voted them down A couple of them even brag about it. They like to bitch about the roads, bitch about the road workers, bitch about the road supervisor, bitch about the engineer, bitch about the old ‘Police Jury’ and bitch about the Home Rule Charter. They really just like to bitch. They have the mistaken idea that by finding fault with everything that is now or has ever been a part of the Parish road system will, somehow, fix it. Can anyone name a single endeavor where that has ever happened?
These old roads are like old blue jeans that have run out of places to be patched. When you start ‘patching the patches’ it’s time get rid of the old and get some new. But, as some shyster once said, if you like your old worn out road, you can keep it. You don’t have to do anything, and that will only mean that the taxes will remain right where they are. You’ll still pay the same to the tax collector. The only question is how much will you be paying to auto repairman.