Why We Urge ‘No’ Vote On Five Tax Proposals

On Tuesday night, the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of East Baton Rouge Parish met to discuss the five tax proposals on the Dec. 10 election ballot.
Four of the propositions would impose new local property taxes and hereby increase existing taxes  by more than $660 million. A fifth proposal would renew the 1/2-cent sales tax for the Green Light road construction project.  It would not raise taxes but would extend the existing 1/2-cent sales tax through the year 2030.
The committee voted to oppose all five of the proposals.  Here’s why:
•    BAD TIMING FOR NEW TAXES. This community has been devastated by recent flooding, and many people have lost everything.  It’s no time for higher taxes!  People are striving just to survive and rebuild.  They cannot handle the existing tax burden, much less higher taxes.
•    WAIT FOR NEW MAYOR — A new Mayor-President will be elected Dec. 10, and we should give that person time to evaluate the operating budget and the capital needs of the parish and make recommendations. He should give that person time to decide what if any taxes he or she will recommend.
•    LAME DUCK COUNCIL PROPOSALS —  The tax proposals were placed on the ballot by the outgoing, lame duck Metro Council.  They do not represent the plans or priorities of the new Council that will be elected Dec. 10
• WAIT ON GREEN LIGHT RENEWAL —  The proposed renewal of the 1/2-cent sales tax for Green Light road construction also should be defeated, because those funds should be allocated based on a specific plan proposed by the new Mayor-President and Council and spelled out to the people.
•    ‘NO’ TO GIVING $60 MILLION IN TAX DOLLARS TO PRIVATE GROUP — The Baton Rouge Area Foundation is non-profit, non-governmental organization with more than $1 billion in assets. It is the biggest commercial property owner in Baton Rouge.  It is not a health care provider.  Nevertheless, BRAF has proposed that $60 million in new property taxes to be levied and turned over to itself  to use for mental health care. Mental health care is needed but turning over our tax dollars to a private entity— which is not answerable to the taxpayers or elected officials — is not the way to address the problem! It is akin to the deeply flawed tax proposal which passed Nov. 8 giving $70 million to the Council on Aging, another private group not answerable to the taxpayers or elected officials.
— Woody Jenkins, Editor

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