At a special called meeting of the Parish Council on May 9, 2016, the Parish Council called for an election to allow the voters of Natchitoches Parish to determine if a new tax would be enacted for the maintenance and improvement of Parish roads. After lengthy discussion of the various tax alternatives available to the Council and a recommendation by the Parish President, the Council voted to put two separate propositions on the ballot on November 8, 2016.

Proposition No. 1 is a parish wide sales and use tax in the amount of one-half cent (0.5 cent) that would be collected in the parish and all municipalities that are not already collecting sales taxes at the maximum rate allowed by State law. Fifty percent of the tax collected inside of the City of Natchitoches will be used for Parish roads and fifty percent would be used for City public works improvements.

Proposition No. 2 is a parish only sales and use tax in the amount of three-quarters of a cent (0.75 cent) that would be collected in the parish only, excluding the City of Natchitoches and any municipalities that are already collecting sales taxes at the maximum rate allowed by State law.

The propositions were adopted by a 3 to 2 vote of the Council with Council members Russell Rachal, Doug deGraffenried and Rodney Bedgood voting for the measure and Council members Patsy Ward Hoover and Chris Paige voting against the measure. The vote was to allow the voters to decide the issue in November.

The funds generated by both taxes for the Parish would be strictly dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of Parish roads and associated features, such as ditches, bridges and highway right-of-way maintenance. They could not be used for any other purpose. In order to document the tax receipts and expenditures, a separate transportation sales tax fund would be created to account for all such transactions.

Rick Nowlin
Parish President


  1. As a former resident from birth and still love to come home. I can still remember the road conditions through out the parish growing up. As often as I come home to visit, and I have been away for 40 yrs. I can say the roads are in deplorable condition and can say that where I live, Illinois, our worst roads are better than your best roads. That is saying a lot. I hope that the residents vote their hearts for the better of the parish. No one trust government officals when it comes to taxpayer money for good reason. I hope things work out for the residents of Natchitoches Parish. It can only get worst.

  2. An open letter to Rick Nowlin
    Mr Nowlin, This past Monday, the parish council voted to put 2 tax proposals on the November ballot. Both of which would raise money for parish road repairs. Now the voters of this parish will decide if they are willing to pay more money to do something about the absolute ridiculousness that is the condition of the roads of Natchitoches Parish.
    However, if this tax were to EVER have any, and I mean the faintest hope of it ever passing, The residents of this parish are going to need to be able to trust that money will be used the right way. For starters, it is clear to most of us that the current administration does not have the ability to use the funds they have now in a way that is most beneficial way to the parish. They have been on the job for 4 years now and things have only got worse. We are paying the director of public works over $100,000 a year and we are getting nothing in return for that investment. I am not saying that he is a bad person, he just doesn’t have what it takes for the job. The same goes for any of the administration down there. Sweeping changes need to be made.
    Another thing, Though all the years of the police jury and now the parish council, the public does not have any faith that money collected will be used for the purpose of “fixing the roads”. Sure you can say it all day long and the money can even be put in a fund that can only be used for “road maintenance” but we all know that can go to someone’s salary or some other personnel matter within the dept.
    I am going to give you a suggestion, take it however you want. First thing, put a plan on paper of what you are going to do with what money you receive. Give us something to look at, publish it however you see fit. I will offer the Fix the Roads of Natchitoches Parish Facebook page in any way you could use it. Develop a plan based on need and the number of people affected. We know it will take time. You have all summer to come up with this plan. It will go a whole lot further than just coming out and running the grader up and down the roads. Now don’t get me wrong, some actual road work will also help, but actual time spent and invested to fixing the road.
    I can not support a tax at this time, no matter who is paying it. However the council has decided to give the voters of this parish the final say so on it. We will no longer have to deal with “Former police jurors standing in the way” and the politics of that and the home rule charter. I hope you take my suggestion and regain my trust and the trust of the voters of this parish. Time will tell. As always, I am available for any suggestions or questions you may have.
    John McAlpin

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