Half a Penny for Your Thoughts

By Ida B. Torn

Nosecutoff
I’ve read a lot of complaints online about how much money residents have to pay on car maintenance due to the deplorable condition of the roads in our Parish. I’ve also seen a lot of discussions by many of the same people who say that they refuse to vote for the sales tax initiatives that are on the ballot in November. The excuses for why they aren’t going to vote for the tax are as numerous as the potholes on most Parish roads. The proverb “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind.

I decided to see how much certain vehicle repairs cost on average and gathered the following information from the website repairpal.com using the zip code of 71469:

HalfPenny-Fig1

There are two separate tax propositions on the ballot. Proposition 1 is a City and Parish Roads Sales Tax, which affects all Parish residents except those living inside the city limits of Campti. If Proposition 1 passes, it is anticipated to increase the Parish’s annual road maintenance budget by more than $2 million. Proposition 2 is a Parish Roads Tax and affects all Parish residents except those living inside the city limits of Campti and Natchitoches. This tax is three-quarter of one cent proposition and, should it pass, it is anticipated to increase the Parish’s annual road maintenance budget by $1.5 million. Just imagine how many roads can be brought into the 21st century with an additional 3.5+ million dollars every year!

The Parish government recently released the chart below to demonstrate to voters what the tax will cost them should it pass.

SALES TAX COST INCREASE TO CONSUMERS:

HalfPenny-Fig2

NOTES:

a. NEITHER TAX PROPOSITION WOULD APPLY TO SALES INSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF CAMPTI DUE TO MUNICIPAL SALES TAX LIMIT.
b. CITY OF NATCHITOCHES SALES TAX INCREASE LIMITED TO 0.5 CENT DUE TO MUNICIPAL TAX LIMIT.

So, the next time you’re dropping your vehicle off to the mechanic’s shop for the umpteenth time, I’d love to have half a penny for your thoughts.