Southwest Louisiana Tea Party

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.

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Comment by Scott Ralph Walker on April 22, 2014 at 10:48pm

Mr. Estabrooks, I read your post and found it quite refreshing to see that people do not swallow everything they are told by the local government officials.

It is true that under the Blanco administration the state of Louisiana legislature passed a bill called the uniform State construction code and it was signed into law by then Governor Blanco.  In short it mandated that all political sub-divisions (Municipalities, Police Jury's ect) had to adopt this as an ordinance in our cities and parishes or the State of Louisiana would lose federal funding.  The federal government said that every state in the Union had to adopt a minimum standard of construction.  They said that they had spent billions of dollars to rebuild after the hurricanes and they did not want to come back and rebuild because of poorly rebuilt structures.  It seems that some of the parishes and municipalities took this as a way to generate revenue and extend control of the parish.  It may be coincidental but it seems that the bigger parishes and municipalities went a little overboard with the regulations adding more than what was required by law. I have a friend that is a contractor and from time to time with the municipality I will have him do projects for us.  I have always told him get to us when you can because I know you need to take care of the bigger projects in Calcasieu  Parish and Lake Charles. He told me he would gladly put any project on hold in Calcasieu Parish to work for Reeves or in Allen Parish.  He told me the rules and regulations in Calcasieu Parish are so massive it takes forever just to get through the red tape to even start work.  He told me that the less rules and regulations means faster construction, lower cost, and it means he gets paid faster so he interns invest it back into his business therefore circulating the revenue which will boost our local and federal economy. 

Funny how smaller governments seem to have less rules and regulations, which in layman's terms really means smaller government limits government, which causes more fiscal responsibility, which makes a free market thrive.  Wow I know I have heard this ideology somewhere before. Oh yea it was from studying history and the reason our founding forefathers started this country and framed the Constitution.

Comment by Tommy Buch on April 6, 2014 at 12:32am

Update - TAX was DEFEATED!

3154 votes - NO (61%)

2007 votes - YES (39%)

5161 - Total votes (9.2% voter turnout - 5,161 votes / 56,080 qualified voters)

Note:  unofficial results

Comment by jack parker on March 19, 2014 at 1:23pm

Better link to FAO OK human waste for fish food

Comment by jack parker on March 19, 2014 at 1:17pm

UN says waste OK for fish. Redfish, no problems.

A wide range of fish species has been cultivated in aquaculture ponds receiving human waste.;jsessionid=A1A0719FEF3AB...

Comment by Barry Wayne Badon on March 18, 2014 at 9:49pm

As always spot on John.  There were police jurymen and reps from the administration at the last Tea Party Meeting.  They made no effort to hide the fact that this is for economic development.  The statement was made that to actually get rural residents on the system (not that we would even want to be) would upwards of $800 million dollars. We are killing the fish you know.  I imediatley equated what they were selling to what I saw as being equal the global warming crap.  I assure you I'm voting no and I will tell everyone I can convince to do the same.  Oh and  if we don't do this we will probably get hepatitis according to statements made that night.


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