Status of Parish Sales Tax fund in question

NPJ received a copy of a letter to Parish Council members regarding concerns that the 1 cent sales tax that supports both the Parish’s solid waste and highway departments will expire in just over a month. According to the Secretary of State’s website, Parish residents passed the tax proposition on October 2, 2010 with 56% of voters in favor of renewing the tax. At the time of its passing, the anticipated annual revenue was estimated to be $1.83 million.

The first opportunity to put a proposition on the ballot is April 24th but the window of opportunity is quickly closing as the proposition must first be approved by the State Bond Commission. According to their website, all applications for the April election must be received by January 19, 2021. According to the Home Rule Charter, tax propositions must be approved by Ordinance, which must lay over at least four weeks from the date of introduction.

If the Parish cannot get a proposition on the April 24 ballot, the next opportunity is October 9 unless the Parish petitions to hold a special-called election. Should the Parish choose this route, it will bear the burden of paying for all costs associated with the election.

With the current tax expiring, any proposition put forth by the Parish to the voters will be for a new source of revenue. The Parish has not had any success in implementing a new tax in the last 10 years. There have been four attempts to pass a sales tax; the most recent one put forth in March of 2019, which was for a ½% sales tax for 20 years. The voters defeated the proposition by 58%.

How much does the Expiring Sales Tax bring in?

CURRENT TAX:
Effective Date: January 1, 2011
Expiration Date: December 31, 2020
Term: 10 Years
Use: Solid Waste/Garbage/Road Maintenance
Estimated Dollars to Collect: $1,830,000 per year
Total Estimated to Collect over the life of the tax: $18,300,000.00

How much will the Expiring Sales Tax bring in AFTER January 1, 2021?

WITH NO RENEWAL:
Effective Date: NONE
Expiration Date: NONE
Term: NONE
Use: Solid Waste/Garbage/Road Maintenance
Estimated Dollars to Collect: ZERO
Total Estimated to Collect over the life of the tax: ZERO

BACKGROUND

Here is the Proposition as it appeared on October 2, 2010 and Approved by the Voters:

Sales Tax District No.1 – 1% S&U – PJ – 10 years
(Renewal)

Shall Sales Tax District No. 1 of the Parish of Natchitoches, State of Louisiana (all of Natchitoches Parish outside of the City of Natchitoches) (the “District”), under the provisions of Article VI, Section 30 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, and other constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to continue to levy and collect a sales and use tax of one percent (1%), for an additional ten (10) years, effective January 1, 2011, in the manner and to the extent provided by La. R.S. 33:2721.6, et seq., and other constitutional and statutory authority (the “Tax”) (an estimated $1,830,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), which, after paying the costs of collecting and administering the Tax shall be used for the purposes of (i) maintaining and operating a Solid Waste Collection and Disposal System for Natchitoches Parish (outside of the City of Natchitoches) and (ii) for the improvement of roads in the Natchitoches Parish Road System?

See Full Proposition at SOS Site – Click Here:
https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/PropositionText/PropositionText/Detail?referendumId=8159

Here is the Final Vote for the Proposition as of October 2, 2010:

See Election Results for October 2, 2010 – Click Here:
https://voterportal.sos.la.gov/graphical
Actual Tax Vote
October 2, 2010
Parish: Natchitoches
Bottom of the page


Here is a copy of the letter received by the NPJ:

19 thoughts on “Status of Parish Sales Tax fund in question

  1. We need to demand an have answers immediately on how this tax renewal was not taken care of properly an the answer should come from John Richmond! That is why he draws the huge salary to take proper care of the Parish’s business. I’m more than angry that our Parish roads are neglected as never before!! Just what r they doing with all the thousands of money appropriated for our roads. they should be accountable for every cent We r paying in this money with our taxes!! I insist on answers. Or the next step is to get a petition circulated o get someone in there that can honestly spend the money as indicated in our Parish!

    • John Richmond was not in office when this should have been taken care of. Tax commission and baton rouge should have caught it.

      • Richmond was elected in 2019 and been in office all of 2020. The tax was able to be renewed at any time this past year! Explain to me how this doesn’t soley fall on him? That is HIS job and HIS responsibility! The buck stops here.

      • so Richmond just sat on his hands after getting in office! yes he could an should have taken care of it after going into office!

        • He wasn’t in office yet when this should have been taken care of. Baton Rouge and others dropped the ball on this one.

          • FALSE… do your research. It should have been on the ballot at some point in 2020, he has been in office officially as President for the year 2020. It isn’t Baton Rouges responsibility to make sure a Natchitoches Parish waste/Road tax is on the ballot as this does NOT benefit the state, just the parish. As this tax is for the Parish of Natchitoches and the benefit of it is to be used for waste and roads the responsibility lies completely on the elected official for the department. The Parish President is responsible. PERIOD. Do us all a favor and EDUCATE yourself. Its all a matter of PUBLIC RECORD.

  2. I’m going to put a little faith in John Richmond to do the right thing if this is renewed and see it goes to where it is supposed to go. At the same time it should be made public a total explanation of every dollar spent.
    And the council still needs to start looking at the redistribution of other taxes being collected mainly the library fund and definitely the CRWC.

  3. Why on earth would they put a tax on the ballot that covered the purposes of (i) maintaining and operating a Solid Waste Collection and Disposal System for Natchitoches Parish (outside of the City of Natchitoches) and (ii) for the improvement of roads in the Natchitoches Parish Road System? That is just begging for misspending of tax money in my opinion. As for my area of the parish, I know nothing of any solid waste collection and disposal, and I’ve been here a good many years. We have always paid someone to pick up our trash or hauled it to the dump. So if it’s not going to (i) for a solid waste and disposal system for Natchitoches Parish, and (ii) our roads have not shown any improvement at all, and if anything they are in far worse condition than they were in 2010, where has “an estimated $1,830,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year” gone. Where was it misspent and by whom? I would like to know where every penny of the almost TWO MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR has gone. Road improvement should be a stand alone budget line, nothing added to it. It may be a DC trick, but here it should not happen. I think the people of Natchitoches Parish are owed an explanation sooner rather than later.

    • MEWHP Here in my part of the parish, we have dumpsters that are fenced and people hired to open the fence for 2 times a day and they watch the site for about 4 hours at a time. . So maybe the article is addressing those salaries and maybe for the trucks that remove the trash from the dumpsters once a week.

      • RN, thanks for that info. They removed our dumpsters years ago, and at that time I thought they had removed most of them. I can totally understand that people need to be paid to work those jobs and the jobs at the dump, I just don’t believe that Waste Collection and Road Improvement have much to do with each other, and I don’t believe they belong on the same line item in the budget. The people of the parish might would vote for more money for the roads, except for things like this. We desperately need road repair, done the correct way. The way it’s done now, within a day or two, the hole is right back. The one advantage to bad roads is the it keeps most speeding down, except for the few foolish young speedsters who don’t realize the damage it’s doing to that brand new truck mommy and daddy got him for his 16 birthday or for his graduation gift, but given at the beginning of his senior year.

        I have a few questions about the tax situation here in the parish. First, once an amount has been approved on a certain line item, let’s just say the library, and it’s a large amount because maybe we were moving from the old library to a new one, larger building. So a lot of money was needed. Now maybe, all the money is not needed, and my question is, can the parish reduce that line item and put the money into the road improvement account. I would think that if we quit overspending, and yes I know the people receiving the money don’t consider it overspending, and use the money to really take care of the roads correctly, and quit throwing money at the two day fixes, could we start seeing progress on the roads in the area. Everyone is screaming that their roads need repair, but repairing the most used roads first makes the most sense to me. Why can’t we do this? Fix the budget so we can fix the roads. We can do it, but we have to know first that the Parish Council has the best interest of the parish residents at heart, and not themselves. Second, we need the council to work together and quit with the little boy squabbles. Third, we need each member of the council to be active in the meetings and the needs of the entire parish. Frankly I’m a bit tired of the council not doing enough to fix what we need to have done as soon as possible.

        I hate to think that we are paying the Parish President a really good salary, and he is not earning it. DO SOMETHING that will help us. Maybe you are doing some things, but is it enough? I know that Parish Council is a part time job for most members, but isn’t it a full time job for you? I don’t understand why we don’t see written reports here in the journal about things that are going on in the parish to make things better. How hard would it be to write an article at the beginning of the month that tells us what happened the previous month that makes the parish a better place to live. Maybe if we were told things, we would not feel there is too much of the back room politics going on here.

        Based on this Expiring Sales Tax not being put back on the ballot as it should have been if you need the money, I think you, Mr. Parish President are not paying attention. You are letting things go, not doing what you should. I still have not received an answer as to how Fish Hatchery road was chosen to be redone and paid for by the CRWC. Is there an ulterior motive there? I don’t believe in hidden motives or back room politics. All I want to know is how those roads were chosen. What were the things that led you and Mr. Rhodes to choose these roads? A quick answer will will suite me. Is Rhodes Development planning a subdivision down those roads? I know some people say it doesn’t matter, a road is being repaired. However, my belief is that if you will not be honest in one deal, you will not be honest in a lot of other deals

  4. Whether or not you think it is necessary, based on past elections it would take a ”Mail-in Miracle” to pass this renewal tax.

  5. The Home Rule Charter for Natchitoches requires that a Balanced Budget be submitted each year to the Parish Council for consideration. It would now appear that the budget submitted and before the Parish Council is NOT balanced?

    The Parish President and Parish Treasurer work together to prepare a balanced budget. This would include a detail review and understanding of REVEUNE & EXPENSES.

    It would appear that both the Parish President and Treasurer have failed to review and understand all of the Incoming Revenue – Sales Tax included!

    The serious infraction is the direct responsibility of the Parish President and Parish Treasurer. It is not the Parish Council, not the Parish Council Clerk or the other employees and staff of the Parish.

    Finally, if this is true, this is very serious and has inflected financial harm to our Parish. More than any harm done by the Police Jury form of Government.

    • John Richmond is such an utter disappointment as Parish President. He has no clue what he’s doing and should have never been elected. He and his wife are more worried about “keeping up appearances” than actually doing their jobs. Plus they are both weird AF.

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