Oh it’s nice to see the Republican Party stand up for “Less Taxes, Less Government” once in a while. Darryl Glasper has been leading the charge against this tax. We conservatives are often quick to criticize one of our own, but slow to praise. Let’s stand together and applaud them this time.
Parish Republican Party Opposes BREC tax Renewal
Baton Rouge, La, March 5, 2007
Alarmed by $33 million in undisclosed additional debt to East Baton Rouge Parish taxpayers, the East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Party unanimously voted to oppose voter approval of the Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation (BREC) tax renewal.
Republican Committee members were particularly concerned that the March 31, 2007 election was called as a single issue special election at a significant taxpayer expense for the sole purpose of insuring a low turnout. Low turnouts are historically associated with the passage of tax proposals in East Baton Rouge Parish. The Parish committee resolved that:
“By failing to adopt proper stewardship of the proceeds of a parish wide property tax dedicated to implementing BREC’s strategic plan on a pay as you go basis, funding for projects that will not be built for five to seven years has been borrowed, placed in German banks and will accrue more than $33 million in interest cost. Interest alone represents almost one third of the entire amount authorized by Parish taxpayers for BREC’s projects.”
Parish Republican party officials were also concerned by the dramatic 100% increase in administrative salaries and associated growth of non program staff, at the same time that the local recreational programs have been eliminated. Combined with the lack of prudent investment, including a $7 million new administrative building that is 75% vacant, led Party officials to conclude that providing a $100 million blank check, through approval of a 10 year property tax, is not in the public’s interest.
After reviewing BREC’s financial statement, it was concluded that BREC could continue to operate until such a time as they took corrective action and then bring their proposal back to the people of East Baton Rouge Parish. “It is not true that BREC will immediately be forced to fire employees or close any recreational facilities should the voters ask BREC to reform their policies and resubmit their plan in a timely manner.”
Party officials stated that they recognize the historic trust relationship between BREC and the people of East Baton Rouge Parish. This trust relationship was created over a distinguished 42 year term by Eugene Young, BREC’s former Executive Director. Party Spokesman said that, “It is politically challenging to oppose one of the most trusted and best loved agencies in our community. However, it would be irresponsible to stand by and let Mr. Young’s replacement abuse that trust.
It is important to send a message to other taxing bodies that financially irresponsible actions will not be tolerated by the voters. By holding an organization as respected as BREC to that standard all tax bodies will understand what is expected by taxpayers.”
Hallelujah folks! The Baton Rouge Republican Party and especially Darryl Glasper who is the only BREC board member opposing this, deserve a standing ovation. Republicans often talk a big talk, but when the rubber hits the road often vote those taxes in. At least here in Baton Rouge, at least this time, Republicans stood by their values.
In the fashion that is typical of big government fanatics, this special election will be buried on a Saturday, a day when most voters would rather spend their limited free time with their families enjoying a crawfish boil than remembering to go vote. Of course, this doesn’t stop the big government fanatics from pushing government employees into voting for this tax, telling them things such that give them the impression that they will lose their jobs if this tax fails.
With BREC sitting on so much money, one has to wonder, why does the city council allow a person who mismanages the fudiciary to have such a large salary, especially since city council members only receive about $800/month. And with such large amounts of money, and the tax revenue for BREC only increasing with the new residents from the Big Easy, there is absolutely no reason for BREC to be short on cash.
Baton Rouge is so overtaxed as it is, many Baton Rouge citizens have a hard time swallowing any more taxes. Considering the Baton Rouge Police Department feels like it’s underpaid, that’s a dangerous sentiment to continue with it’s citizens. Reduce the tax burden on people, save more taxes for something important, like crime.