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.