by Barry Butler
[earlier article published previously]
It’s not often we, as voters, get a chance to directly choose what taxes we pay. We elect good people to go to Washington, Baton Rouge, and Benton to represent us and our VALUES. I am very proud of my state representatives who voted against the recent tax increases passed in Baton Rouge. The Group of No. I’m sure they were pressured to vote for the tax increases. Most elected folks are caring people who want to make the world better. The conflict occurs when folks disagree on the HOW to make things better and who defines BETTER. And BETTER for who? As a citizen, you have the opportunity to choose.
Starting tomorrow, Saturday 26 March, for early voting, and on Saturday 9 April you have a chance to vote on ONE tax renewal. Vote yes and your property taxes stay the same. No increase. Vote no and you have a chance to Right Size Government. The renewal is renew 2.5 mils to supportthe Caddo-Bossier Port for another 25 years. The Port at Caddo-Bossier has done a great job in attracting industry and being a job creator for our area.
The renewal is no longer needed. The 2.5 mils tax from both Caddo and Bossier Parishes was needed in the beginning, 22 years ago, to create the port. Land was purchased. Infrastructure, water, sewerage, roads, docks, lifts, etc, were built and businesses recruited. 2,300 acres have been purchased and developed. Only 700 of those 2,300 areas are being used. So no new land is needed without any new large businesses on the horizon.
According to the financial statement on file with the Louisiana State Auditor’s website
The Port at Caddo-Bossier is operating at a profit. All of the profits are retained by the port and none are returned to Caddo or Bossier Parish.
For 2014, the latest audit on file, Page 4
Operating Revenue $15.3 Million
Operating Expenses $5.3 Million
Operating Income $10.0 Million
The Port has $17.8 Million is Government backed securities in the bank, Page 9.
So you need to answer the question, can we vote no and Right Size Government? My answer is yes. It’s time to start examining every milage and for our good elected folks to justify every tax.
Will you taxes go down if you vote no? Well, no. The Port still has three more years on the original tax authorization to tax your earned income. Hopefully, if the port still needs your earned income to run the port, they can come back with a more reasonable tax rate at a shorter term for more voter generated over site. YOU CHOOSE. YOU VOTE.