Why Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Won’t Work

By Ida B. Torn

It’s Labor Day weekend and I’m heading off to the beach for some rest and relaxation. I wanted to pen a quick note to everyone before I hit the road.

I’m sometimes dumbfounded by the things I hear on the street or see on the Internet. I heard this week that some folks who don’t support the sales tax think we should force other Parish entities to fork over a portion of or all of their reserves. I’d like for those good folks to know that it simply won’t work and there’s a very simple explanation why. Parish Government, by law, is required to support most of the other governmental entities associated with the Parish. If you look at a copy of the Parish budget, you will find that the Parish provides funding and/or support to the Registrar, the Coroner, the State Health Department, the Clerk of Court, the Tax Assessor, the 10th Judicial District Court, the District Attorney’s Office, the Veteran’s Affairs Office and the LSU AgCenter, just to name a few.

If the Parish tries to reach over and take from any one of these entities those same entities can force the Parish to give it all back and then some. Therefore, for this reason, the Parish should not and cannot take these agencies’ money to fund parish roads.

If you ever have a day with lots of time on your hands or you have a night where you need help getting to sleep, check out the Louisiana State Legislator’s website and read the Revised Statutes section. It’s a great source of information for understanding the governmental agencies that serve you and how they work together.

I value that people are having conversations on how to get funding for the Parish road system. I only ask that they look at solutions that will actually have positive results for the Parish and not create more battles for the Parish to fight.

Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day!

3 thoughts on “Why Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Won’t Work

  1. The flaw to your argument Ms. Ida is the misplaced faith you have in government. Consider the following quote.
    But in framing a government “which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” James Madison, Federalist 10
    Both federal and local government fail to control themselves therefore we must not reward them with more tax monies. Put aside your little pet projects until your obligations have been met

  2. Hmm, seems like the city can come up with the money for baseball fields, recreation complexes and still have a surplus in the water system funds large enough to change the rules on how it can be spent. This kind of action causes people to be a little less trusting of our leadership because there are always pet projects that come before reducing the tax burden of the citizens. Once a tax gets on the books it never gets removed and if it accomplishes its purpose and starts to build a surplus, there are always projects that could use the money so it never ever goes away. I guess our parish government needs to take notes from our city government. Our roads have been an embarrassment to us for many years not to mention the wear and tear on our vehicles. Sabine parish, Vernon parish and even Grant parish has better road systems than Natchitoches parish does.

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