Along with the passing of the April 6th vote in Louisiana was also the damning evidence of the ever growing apathy of one of our greatest Rights as American citizens. The Right AND Privilege to walk into the voting booth and tell our elected officials we are taxed enough already. All across the state, various parishes had numerous new tax propositions and the infamous tax renewals. The art of waiting till the last possible day to file these propositions with the tax commission by whatever entity seeking said tax is a tried and true procedure perfected over many years to dupe the citizens into feeling obligated to pass these taxes, most importantly the renewals as they are supposedly something we are accustomed to paying already.
Have we forgotten the cost of this Right? Do most citizens even think about it anymore? As the son, brother and father of Veterans and current service members I cherish the opportunity to pull those curtains closed and fulfill my civic duty as a tax payer and proud American. Here in Calcasieu Parish, the voter turnout was a true testament to the apathy and neglect of our citizens to honor those that paid the ultimate price that we may still enjoy the Right to cast our vote and make a difference. The three parish wide tax propositions were decided long before a single precinct came in. The early voting stats on each of the following shows the trend. The 3.49 mill property tax to provide more money for “Juvenile Justice” passed by a vote of 6,772 to 3,355. Early voting at 1136 for and 367 against, 76% to 24%. The 4.06 mill property tax for roads and drainage passed, 6,994 to 3,140. Early voting at 1154 for and 347 against, 77% to 23%. The 2.48 mill property tax for the health unit passed, 6,882 to 3,240. Early voting at 1139 for and 363 against, again, 76% to 24%. Less than an eleven percent total turnout overall. SAD
It’s really no big shock that these propositions passed in such great percentages considering the Parish Police Jury employs over seven hundred people and another two hundred or better throughout all the special service districts. Do you suppose perhaps a word may have gone out to these employees? I do not know but, DAMN! This is the art of keeping taxes on the books for decades upon decades. The common citizens don’t stand a chance of ever defeating these propositions when they are strategically placed on the ballot on an off election time when the powers that be know all well voter turnout will be extremely low. Remember, IT’S AN ART FORM.
LEST WE FORGET THE PRICE
by Mark Parham