by Barry Butler
I have had several questions about the Bossier Parish tax renewals that are on the ballot for November 8th. The question is, “How is voting for a tax renewal, a tax decrease?”
Because the Bossier Parish Police Jury has raised your taxes, without you being able to vote for or against the taxes twice since you, the voter, approved the rates in 2006. The tax rates you, the voter, approved in 2006 for the Health Unit was .82 mils. The tax rate you, the voter, approved in 2006 for ighway was 1.99 mils.
During periods of recession, our state constitution allows taxing authorities (Police Juries, city councils, school boards, etc) via Revised Statute 47, Section 1705 to raise your tax rates to a level that tax revenue coming into the taxing authority will not be affected by the recession. On July 3, 2012, Bossier Parish police jurors raised your Health Unit tax from .82 mils to .83 mils, and the Highway Tax from 1.99 mils to 2.01 mils citing the constitutional authority to do so. Again this year on July 6, 2016, the same Bossier Parish police jurors raised your taxes again. Raising the Health Unit Tax from .83 mils to .85 mils and the Highway Tax from 2.01 mils to 2.07 mils again using the constitutional authority in the revised statue. In total, this police jury has raised your tax rates 17%.
The balance for us is that the constitution requires tax renewals only renew at the original tax rate not the adjusted rate. Voting for the the tax renewals rolls back the tax rates from the police jury adjusted rates to the rates you, the voter, approved in 2006. Any tax rate other than the original rate must be advertised as a tax increase not a renewal.
“Trust, but verify.” Ronald Reagan