Fiscal Responsibility - Limited Government - Free Market
This is just my spin on SEWER SALES TAX on the April 5th ballot .25 Cent Sewage tax on unincorporated Calcasieu Residents Background Direct from the Police Jury web page.
With the significant growth in unincorporated areas of the Parish (51% increase since 1980), service demands have increased greatly, which includes the need for proper sewage treatment in these areas. The proposed tax represents one of the funding sources for the sewer plan, with Parish gaming funds and state grants also being utilized. It is a 20-year sales tax, to be levied only in unincorporated areas of the Parish (that is, outside of cities).
Understanding the growth in unincorporated Calcasieu since 1980 is very easy. Citizens look forward to getting out of the cities and into the rural areas of Calcasieu. Private land ownership is a part of the American dream. The Police Jury also loves to spout this increase without giving the real facts behind a portion of this growth. Hurricane Rita gave government FEMA a tool to destroy the hope of many of our Cameron brothers and sisters to return home. Many of our rural neighbors located in unincorporated Calcasieu.
When the Police Jury makes the statement service demands have increased greatly they start down a path of storytelling. There is no service demand for sewage treatment in unincorporated Calcasieu Parish. Sewage treatment systems are not provided by the Parish government. The only role Parish government has played in sewage treatment of unincorporated Calcasieu is accepting EPA guidelines for inspection and enforcement of Federal standards (grant funds accepted during Rita recovery). Unincorporated bussiness and private citizens must provide systems that meet the demands of the parish. Calcasieu Parish Police Jury provides no sewage treatment systems to the residence of the unincorporated Calcasieu. Therefore service demand could not increase.
Direct from the Police Jury web page
What will the Sewer Sales Tax fund?
The Sewer Sales Tax will establish a “backbone system” of sewer trunk lines along main corridors in unincorporated areas, which will enhance commercial economic development and allow future expansions to reach residential areas.
The Police Jury forces unincorporated residence to purchase and maintain mechanical sewer systems as per Federal guidelines. This same Police Jury is going to bring sewer treatment to residents of unincorporated Calcasieu? No the Police Jury is seeking residence tax dollars to fund a sewer a system for commercial and industrial development. Look at their poor quality maps to verify homes are not getting a parish provided sewer system. They do promise future expansion to reach residential areas (no date provided). After crossing private property lines to issue repair notices and fines to residents they are seeking our tax dollars to help business and industry. Someone should explain to the Police Jury that corporations and business can reach into their pockets to meet their needs for federal sewer treatment systems (just like private citizens are forced to do).
The sewer tax is robbing Peter (private citizens) to pay Paul (commercial developers) or tax neutral (Police Jury sells spin). Just a few years back (two or three) we had Police Jury members holding meetings to tell us how they needed renewal of the Road and Garbage tax. They used fear of increase cost to unincorporated residence for trash pick to convince us all to support the passage of the tax. Today it turns out we don’t need the Road and Garbage tax. Those tax dollars can be shifted to pay for commercial developers needs for a sewer system. So what happens to the Road needs and Garbage needs? One thing must be clear if they hook up sewage to all of unincorporated homes it won’t be limited to .25 cent taxation and the home owners will foot the bill.
Perhaps the wealthy members of the Police Jury should invest some of their profits from land development and industry partnerships back into the Parish? Better yet operate under a total transparent government that would view private citizens as equal to Police Jury commercial partners. Perhaps it is time for the Citizens of unincorporated Calcasieu to invest in a term limits campaign for Police Jury Members? Is there a pig in this poke? Let’s see they control our private property rights, they plan and develop partnerships for commercial needs and hand citizens the bill. Yep that is Parish government at its best.