If You Can’t Get the People To Swallow, Ram It Down Their Throats!

August 7, 2009

At least that seems to be the motto of this new city council that we have in Baton Rouge. When Mayor Kip Holden’s plan to increase taxes last fall on a pie-in-the-sky scheme failed, he went back to the drawing board. Or rather, he went to the old gerrymandering play book, excluding certain voters from having the ability to have their voices heard, especially those who oppose his plan. If you disagree with an administration, they find ways to silence you. Sounds like the America we grew up in right? Thought not, but from the national scale down to the city of Baton Rouge, that’s quickly becoming the way politics is run, you don’t get a say if you oppose an administration.

Of the councilmen who should have voted against are Scott Wilson and Trae Welch whose districts are EXCLUDED from having a say in the matter, while councilman’s Allison Cascio, Smokie Boureois, Joe Boe, and Chandler Loupe’s district are probably districts that are being targeted on the national level for excessive tax hikes and it doesn’t serve in the best interest of those communities to further burden them with even higher taxes for the benefit of a few. Four years may be a long way off, but the way the economy is going and the further burden of tax hikes only invites people to run against incumbents and creates a shortage of campaign contributions. Of the above mentioned councilmen, only Trae Welch, Allison Cascio, and Joe Boe did the right thing for their districts.

And while some of the other council members may have voted to exclude Baker, Zachary, and Central, what happens when those residents chose to do more shopping inside the excluded cities rather than to take the drive into Baton Rouge and pay the higher taxes? What happens to those businesses who happen to be on the wrong side of a street, inside this tax district, while the business on the other side of the street is exempt from the additional taxes? Won’t people cross the street to save a few more cents?

My guess is that this city council’s inexperience is really showing. I’m also thinking we’ll see a lot of fresh faces in four years, especially when they are passing taxes by any means necessary at a time that chemical companies continue to lay off workers.


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