Vote NO on School Tax on Saturday April 30th

April 29, 2011

Vote NO on Tangipahoa School Tax Hike on Saturday April 30th

by Nicholas James

A Tax Revolt that has been simmering in Tangipahoa parish for the past few months comes to a full boil tomorrow on Saturday, April 30th, 2011 when the Parish goes to vote on the proposed new school taxes.

Tangipahoa Parish is seeking a $187 million tax hike for its school system in a vote on Saturday.

According to a poll by the Southeastern Louisiana Social Science Research Center, published by the Hammond Daily Star on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, public opinion is running strongly against the new tax.  Only 24% of voters strongly supported the tax.  Another 7% of voters weakly supported the tax for a total of 31% of voters being for the new tax.  On the no tax side, 49% of voters strongly opposed the tax.  Another 6% of voters weakly opposed the tax for a total of 55% against the tax.   The poll was conducted on April 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th.

If these polling results hold up, then the proposed tax increase will go down to defeat by a wide margin.

According to the parish registrar of voters, interest in the tax hike election is extremely high.  The Hammond Daily Star, reported on Thursday, April 21,  2011, that according to the parish Registrar of Voters John Russell, 2,458 voters had already voted in the election by absentee ballot.

The election is occurring under a the dark black cloud of judicial tyranny.  Federal Judge Ivan L. R. Lemmelle has threatened to implement the tax anyway, regardless of the voters opinion.  Now by U.S. law and by the U.S. constitution, a federal judge has no taxing authority.  For the judge to make such a threat, to impose this tax upon the parish over the objection of the voters, is inappropriate.  The judge is claiming that he has the authority to do so based on the Supreme Court case of Jenkins v. Missouri.

The threat is particularly curious as there needs to be no tax hike for a judge to order the integration of the schools.

The purported purpose of the tax increase is to fund five new schools and to make major improvements to thirty other schools.  New schools and school improvements are not necessary for integration.  They may be necessary due to the growth of student population in the parish, but to claim that they are needed to ‘desegregate the schools’ is a false and specious claim.

The judge should be called on his bluff.  Furthermore, the judge should recuse himself from the federal case – Joyce Marie Moore et. al. v. Tangipahoa Parish School Board.

Are we living in a Republic or a Judicial dictatorship?

Vote NO on the tax hike.  Federal judges should not abuse their position to coerce voters into voting yea or nae in any election or on any election issue.  They have a DUTY to remain impartial and only hear issues that appear before them in court.

The four propositions on the ballot are:

 

VOTE NO on Proposition 1

The proposition allows the school district to go $120 million dollars into debt for the next twenty years.  Under the current, ongoing recession, this proposal is out of line with the economic times.  The United States and the State of Louisiana are both awash with debt and are currently in a precarious position with regard to meeting their current and future obligations.  It would be extremely imprudent and irresponsible of the Parish of Tangipahoa to take on this massive debt at this point in time.

PW School Dist. Prop.#1 $120,000,000 Bonds – SB – 20 Yrs.

Parishwide Propositions Proposition No. 1 (General Obligation Bonds) Summary: Authority to issue not exceeding $120,000,000 of not exceeding 20 year general obligation bonds of the Parishwide School District of the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana, in one or more series, for acquiring and/or improving lands for building sites and playgrounds, including construction of necessary sidewalks and streets adjacent thereto; purchasing, erecting and/or improving school buildings and other school related facilities within and for the District and acquiring the necessary equipment and furnishings therefor title to which shall be in the public, said bonds to be payable from ad valorem taxes.

If the Debt Consolidation and the Special Tax Propositions of the District carry, shall the Parishwide School District of the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana (the “District”), incur debt and issue bonds to an amount not exceeding One Hundred Twenty Million Dollars ($120,000,000), in one or more series, to run not exceeding twenty (20) years from date thereof, with interest at a rate or rates not exceeding eight per centum (8%) per annum to be sold at par, premium or discount, for the purpose of acquiring and/or improving lands for building sites and playgrounds, including construction of necessary sidewalks and streets adjacent thereto; purchasing, constructing, erecting and/or improving school buildings and other school related facilities within and for the District and acquiring the necessary equipment and furnishings therefor, title to which shall be in the public; which bonds will be general obligations of the District and will be payable from ad valorem taxes to be levied and collected in the manner provided by Article VI, Section 33 of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974 and statutory authority supplemental thereto, with an estimated Thirty-Five million dollars of bonds expected to be issued in the first series requiring an estimated millage rate of 17 mills to be levied in the first year of issue?

VOTE NO on Proposition 2

The second proposition takes the existing bonds and debts of the independent school districts and combines them into one Parish debt.  This proposal is not necessary.  The independent school districts should remain independent.  They should not be subsumed into a larger entity, simply to consolidate debt.  The existing bonds are already issued and operating at reasonable interest rates.  There is simply no good reason to refinance these debts. 

PW School Dist. Prop.#2 Assume Outstanding Debt – SB

Parishwide Propositions Proposition No. 2 (Debt Consolidation) Summary: Authority for assuming the outstanding debt of various School Districts in the Parish of Tangipahoa.

If the General Obligation Bond and the Special Tax propositions of Parishwide School District of the Parish of Tangipahoa carry, shall the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana, through the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, be authorized to assume the outstanding debt of the various School Districts of said Parish, the particular School Districts and the indebtedness of each to be assumed, being more fully described as follows: Consolidated School District No. 1, $640,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2003, dated May 1, 2003, bearing interest at 3.350%, 3.500% and 3.600%, maturing serially on May 1 of the years 2012 to 2014, inclusive; Consolidated School District No. 1, $2,250,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2005, dated April 21, 2005, bearing interest at 3.500%, 3.625%, 3.700% and 3.750%, maturing serially on May 1 of the years 2012 to 2015, inclusive; School District No. 39A, $2,595,000 of General Obligation School Improvement Bonds, Series 2004, dated April 1, 2004, bearing interest at 4.00%, 3.25%, 3.20%, 3.30%, 3.40%, 3.60%, 3.70%, 3.80%, 4.00%, 4.05%, 4.15% and 4.20%, maturing serially on April 1 of the years 2012 to 2024, inclusive; School District No. 106, $230,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2003, dated May 1, 2003, bearing interest at 3.350% and 3.500%, maturing serially on July 1 of the years 2012 to 2013, inclusive; School District No. 107, $415,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2003, dated May 1, 2003, bearing interest at 3.350%, 3.500% and 3.600%, maturing serially on February 1 of the years 2012 to 2014, inclusive; School District No. 108, $645,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2003, dated May 1, 2003, bearing interest at 3.350% and 3.500%, maturing serially on July 1 of the years 2012 to 2013, inclusive; School District No. 116, $220,000 of General Obligation School Refunding Bonds, Series 2003, dated May 1, 2003, bearing interest at 3.350% and 3.500%, maturing serially on July 1 of the years 2012 to 2013, inclusive; School District No. 116, $2,465,000 of General Obligation School Improvement Bonds, Series 2003, dated November 1, 2003, bearing interest at 3.75%, 3.60%, 3.70%, 3.80%, 4.00%, 4.10%, 4.20%, 4.30%, 4.35% and 4.40%, maturing serially on May 1 of the years 2012 to 2023, inclusive?

VOTE NO on Proposition 3

If the above tax hike, proposition 1, and tax consolidation, proposition 2, are not implemented, then there is no need for this proposition.  This proposition increases the taxes on the property in Tangipahoa by 10 Mills for 10 years.

PW School Dist. Prop.#3 10 Mills – SB – 10 Yrs.

Parishwide Propositions Proposition No. 3 (Special Tax) Summary: Authority to levy a 10 mills property tax by the Parishwide School District of the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana, for 10 years for the purpose of maintaining and operating public schools within and for the District, and acquiring equipment and furnishings therefor.

If the General Obligation Bond and Assumption of Debt propositions of the Parishwide School District of the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana, carry, shall the Parishwide School District (the “District”), be authorized to levy and collect a special tax of ten (10) mills on all property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $4,908,000 is reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year) for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2011 and ending with the year 2020, for the purpose of maintaining and operating public schools within and for the District, and acquiring equipment and furnishings therefor?

VOTE NO on Proposition 4

Again, if the first two propositions are not passed, then the 1% sales tax hike is also not needed.  It is inappropriate under current economic conditions to raise the taxes on the citizens of Tangipahoa at this time.  The school districts of Tangipahoa need to learn to make do with the income streams that they already have available.

PW Educational Fac.Imp.Di 1% S&U – BOD – 30 Yrs.

Parishwide Proposition (Educational Facilities Improvement District) (Sales Tax) Summary: Authority to levy a 1% sales and use tax to be used for the purpose of maintaining and operating public schools within the Parish of Tangipahoa to be levied for a period not to exceed thirty years from the original levy thereof, subject to funding into bonds from time to time for capital purposes.

If the General Obligation Bond and Assumption of Debt propositions of the Parishwide School District of the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana, carry, shall the Educational Facilities Improvement District of the Parish of Tangipahoa, State of Louisiana (the “District”), under La. R.S. 33:2740.37 and other constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to levy and collect a tax of one percent (1%) (the “Tax”) for a period not to exceed thirty years from the original levy thereof, upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption of tangible personal property and on sales of services in the District, all as defined by law (an estimated $11,400,000 is reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year) except that the sale at retail, use or consumption of food and prescription drugs shall be exempted from the Tax, with Tax proceeds (after paying the reasonable and necessary expenses of collecting and administering the Tax) to be dedicated and used for the purpose of assisting the Tangipahoa Parish School Board (the “School Board”) in the funding of the maintenance and operation of public schools within the District; said Tax to be subject to funding into bonds from time to time for capital improvements, in the manner provided by the laws of Louisiana?


1 comments
Nicholas James
Nicholas James

Congratulations Tangipahoa. Now lets see what the 190 lb Gorilla decides to do next... Actually, it looks kind of close. Perhaps they need a RECOUNT... ROFLOL. Louisiana Secretary of State TANGIPAHOA 2011-04-30 21:59:02.400 PW School Dist. Prop.#1 -- $120,000,000 Bonds - SB - 20 Yrs. All 87 precincts reporting Yes 12.99% 2615 No 87.01% 17509 PW School Dist. Prop.#2 -- Assume Outstanding Debt - SB All 87 precincts reporting Yes 12.50% 2502 No 87.50% 17513 PW School Dist. Prop.#3 -- 10 Mills - SB - 10 Yrs. All 87 precincts reporting Yes 12.22% 2465 No 87.78% 17699 PW Educational Fac.Imp.Dist. -- 1% S&U - BOD - 30 Yrs. All 87 precincts reporting Yes 12.72% 2563 No 87.28% 17592

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