PARISH ROAD PROGRAM – WHERE DO OUR TAX DOLLARS GO?

If you ask people across the Parish what the top priority for Parish government is, the overwhelming majority would tell you it would be to keep the Parish roads in good repair.  If you look at the amount of taxes dedicated to the road system by the voters, you get a different answer. The amount of property tax revenues dedicated to our Parish road system is only about 3.7% of the total property tax revenues collected by all Parish agencies.

In 2017, the following property tax amounts were collected in the Parish:

AgencyTax Amount% of Total Tax
Law Enforcement $3,388,258.66 11.48
Law Enforcement2,782,726.499.43
Special School Tax 2,381,306.29 8.07
Parish Library 2,347,287.63 7.95
Cane River Waterway Commission 2,041,119.686.91
Ambulance Tax 1,806,390.916.12
General School Tax 1,581,867.75 5.36
Consolidated School District #7 1,540,681.785.22
School District #9 1,445,708.194.90
Tax Assessment District 1,258,690.474.26
PARISH ROAD DISTRICT #40 (outside City)1,093,540.783.70
Parish Health Unit 95955,924.383.24
Parish Public Buildings955,924.383.24
Natchitoches Levee & Drainage District 843,548.052.86
Consolidated School District #10 835,042.202.83
Red River Waterway Commission 792,689.802.69
General Tax Outside 7775,824.74 2.63
Fire District #6 594,126.692.01
Consolidated School District #8 413,083.841.40
Fire District #7 409,209.121.39
Fire District #4 215,922.990.73
Fire District #9 208,194.600.71
Consolidated School District #6 200,677.230.68
General Tax Inside 188,019.680.64
Fire District #5 34,836.690.46
Fire District #3 95,999.350.33
Fire District #2 65,832.560.22
Fire District #10 42,474.120.14
LTC Asst. Fee 42,169.700.14
Forestry Tax 31,078.85 0.11
Fire District #829,045.53 0.10
Levee Tax 9,900.070.03
Railroad Tax $100/mile 5,631.700.02
Pipeline Tax $50/mile 5,096.500.02
Fire District #1 0.00 0.00
Total Property Tax Revenues: $29,518,41100.00

 

As one can see, the actual tax dollars dedicated to the Parish road system represent only a small fraction (3.7%) of the total taxes paid by our businesses and residents.  None of the funds dedicated to the other agencies (over $28 million) can be used by the Parish highway department.

This does not mean that the tax dollars going to the other agencies are not being spent on valuable services for the Parish.  It simply means that the people, by their votes in tax elections, have been willing to fund the other agencies but not the Parish highway department.   There may have been good reasons for not funding the highway department in the past, but that is no longer the case.

The Parish, under the new Home Rule Charter government, has worked hard to address the road repair issue.  Its decisions on what road to work and what work to do is based upon the road condition and its impact on public safety, the number of homes and businesses along the road, daily traffic counts, school locations and the funds available.

In addition, the Parish is working with other public bodies to improve our roads.  The state recently funded 75% of the work on the Coco Bed Road improvements and is willing to do the same on other Parish roads.  The problem is that the Parish must come up with a 25% cost share on the road projects and that is a real problem.  The proposed road tax would provide funds to move some of these projects forward.

The Parish also received major financial assistance from the Red River Waterway Commission to convert Hampton Road from a gravel road to a new asphalt roadway. The Commission was able to assist the Parish because it improved access to the Commission’s marina on Red River.

Until the voters understand the need for additional funds and vote to provide them, the Parish road system will continue to deteriorate. If the people truly want better roads, it is time to provide the resources needed to do the job.

Rick Nowlin

Press Release
March1,2019

19 thoughts on “PARISH ROAD PROGRAM – WHERE DO OUR TAX DOLLARS GO?

  1. M1, why do you believe the dollars are for the river bottom? The CRWWC money is for the entire waterway district and according the state statute they are to “increase of their commerce and prosperity, and for the improvement of their health and living conditions..”. The riverbank project was well within their mission.

  2. This lets us know where the taxes come from but I would like to know where the 3.7% is spent. Because it is not on the roads.

    • I have always wondered how the library could have the largest budget in the parish. Just seems people need to rethink their priorities. How are CRWW board members selected?

    • I’m sure the entire budget was spent on blacktopping the road to the Hamptons. After all, those are big, expensive homes out there. Those people’s BMWs and Mercedes’ were taking a beating on the old road.

  3. To Jason and Mike and others asking why money cant be moved around. In short we as tax payers voted for those taxes dedicted to that entity..i.e, the CRWW, Library, and the parish president and council can not access those funds. Let’s not renew some of the funds to dedicated entities getting too much and we as voters can reallocate to road improvement. Please vote for this tax and vote down some other taxes renewals when they come up ( luxuries like book mobiles, CRWW, and yes school board and law enforcement too). Not deplete those entities but a reduction. It’s not the parish govts fault. Its ours as voters.

    • The tax we are paying to THE CRWC was not voted on . It was a state imposed tax that was also SUPPOSED to be a dedicated tax!

  4. So, nearly $30 million is collected in property tax and that is how it is allocated. I bet a dollar to a donut I could find $MILLIONS that can be freed up and reallocated to roads by combing through those other organizations’ budgets.

    Not that I am suggesting anything here, but for instance, the other day I was heading to Alex in the morning, and between 6:30 and about 6:40, from the Walmart down to Natchez on that highway (Keyser Ave extended south) I saw 8 school busses. No more than a few students were on each bus. I counted three busses passing one kid standing in his driveway until a 4th bus stopped to pick him up. Does it really take EIGHT busses to service that part of the parish? Just asking…

    No, no new taxes until a complete audit and purging of waste, out of the current $30 million, is conducted.

    • Lol, trimming the fat out of the budget worked so well for Jindal and the state legislature. They discovered efficiencies, sure, but ended up gutting everything in the process. Someday we will learn things cost money. Maybe. On second thought, probably not…

  5. As one can see, the actual tax dollars dedicated to the Parish road system represent only a small fraction (3.7%) of the total taxes paid by our businesses and residents. None of the funds dedicated to the other agencies (over $28 million) can be used by the Parish highway department

    But nearly 3 times the budget for the road Dept was moved from THE CRWC to the Front Street river bank project! Can you explain how that happens,but we can’t move it to an agency that actually needs it?

  6. Ok Rick I’ve always supported you,but now I would like an answer to one question. You said no dedicated money could be moved .How did we move the CRWC dedicated funds to rebuild the riverbank downtown? Enough funds to triple the road budget for the year .

    I think we need to see what areas have been showing a surplus. Some are spending to make sure they get that amount the next year. Tighten some belts end the pork spending and you can find places to cut!

    Give me 3 years of actual true figures and a red highlighter I’ll find you some road money.

    • The Natchitoches Parish Government did not move that money to the CRWWC. This tax was imposed on the taxpayers by the Legislature without our vote. The money that is in question was used by the CRWWC by them from their budget. The Parish Council was looking at bringing this before the legislature to ask for them to reallocate some of this surplus in the CRWWC budget and have it applied to the roads. The CRWWC voted to spend this money on the project to keep us from getting it. This is legal, because the money was spent in the Cane River District. I don’t personally see how this decision was beneficial to every resident of Natchitoches Parish, when everyone doesn’t reside or own land in the Cane River District.

      • NPJ I know what the CRWC is very well. Probably better then you! They are over funded for what they actually do,not what that are funded for but again what they do. Funding front Street projects is not their purpose! Those are tax dollars intended for the upkeep of the river bottom line . Those dollars come from the entire parish very little from front Street,if they were going to divert the funds it should have gone to something to benefit the entire parish and that would have been the road fund! We pay the tax and had no say in the matter,we had no say about the front Street project and had no say in moving the funds or where they were moved to! Dedicated tax in Natchitoches parish? No such thing!

  7. Very informative… but I just don’t see why public libraries are getting more funding than our roads. I’m pretty confident in saying less than 10 IF that many go to Campti’s library in a week.

    • If I read the city budget correctly the library also gets over 3 million per year from the city. Salaries for the main branch over 800k per year.

  8. Thank You Mr. Nowlin, for a good picture of how the Parish money is used. I don’t like new taxes but I am starting to see why we may need some more tax money for the parish roads.
    JC Robertson

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