Article republished courtesy of Rick Nowlin Social Media
PARISH TAX ELECTION – MARCH 25, 2017
The ballot for the election to be held on March 25, 2017 includes the four (4) very important tax renewals for the Parish. All of these are existing taxes and the tax rates are the same as the existing rates. They contain NO tax increases.
Road Tax: The amount of the tax is 5 mills and it generates a little more than $1,000,000 per year for the highway department. This amount represents almost 40% of the total annual revenues the department receives from all sources.
If the road tax fails to be renewed, the limited road maintenance work we are able to do now will be cut dramatically. Choosing to express one’s frustration over poor road conditions by voting against the renewal of a tax is not going to help the situation. In fact, it will only make things worse. Our roads would continue to decline and our quality of life for our people will suffer.
Also, the Parish would probably lose the State capital outlay funds for road improvements since it would not be able to generate the matching funds required to get the State dollars.
Health Unit Tax: The health unit provides important services to many of our citizens, inspects and issues permits for sewer systems and commercial kitchens, and operates our mosquito control program. If the health unit tax fails to be renewed, we will have major cutbacks in services there and probably the elimination of our mosquito control program.
Without Parish support, it is unclear whether the State will continue to provide the nurses and sanitarians that staff the health unit. If not, the Parish would have to close the health unit.
Buildings Tax: The State requires the Parish to provide facilities for the district court, district attorney and other agencies. If the buildings tax fails to be renewed, we will not be able to property maintain the courthouse and other Parish buildings. The Parish would be in violation of State statutes requiring the Parish to provide and maintain the facilities. The loss of these funds could possibly impact other funds as money must be found for courthouse maintenance.
Library Tax: The library provides many services and programs to our citizens. If the library tax fails to be renewed, the library will lose most of its funding, resulting in major cuts in its programs. It is difficult to see how the library would be able to continue to stay open.
The situation, as we see it, is that people are fed up with taxes—regardless of whether they are existing taxes to be renewed or brand new taxes. Given the political climate in the country, renewing any tax is a hard sell. Some people think that there are plenty of funds available to our Parish government, and that the funds are not being spent on the right things. What they fail to realize is that all of these taxes, and many others, are dedicated to specific departments and the tax revenues cannot be spent anywhere else.
Almost everyone wants better roads and other services, but many are not willing to pay for them. It defies reason to think that cutting funding for agencies and departments will improve the services they provide.
In the final analysis, the voters will decide which taxes they will support. We can only hope that they will appreciate the importance of their votes on the future of our Parish.
Original Blog: https://parishpresident.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/parish-tax-election-march-25-2017/