“Let the voters decide,” seems to be a never-ending mantra from government officials who keep putting taxes on the ballot. Never you mind that they voted to put a tax on the ballot. No, that’s not raising taxes, they’ll tell you, because the “voters must decide.” What they aren’t telling you is if they didn’t pass the tax at the council level, there would be no opportunity for that tax to go up. Period.
Now, the voters have been doing quite a bit of deciding lately. In fact, just a few short months ago, two taxes were destroyed at the polls on December 8th. And yet, here we are again with another perpetual tax being thrust upon voters in a super-low turnout election. You know how this works, all the folks who’ve been promised things show up and vote YES to raise your taxes while everyone else didn’t even know an election was going on. That’s how they pass these taxes, and it happens all the time.
On Saturday, March 30th, National Take a Walk in the Park Day, voters in Scott, Louisiana, will once again be presented with a 1¢ perpetual sales tax. If passed, it means the voters will NEVER be able to repeal it. That’s right, NEVER. Our great-great-great grandkids will still be paying a perpetual tax that we pass today.
Now, before you use John Bel Edwards famous excuse that “it’s only a penny” consider the ballot language says, if passed, this brand-new tax will reduce Scott’s economy by $2.4 MILLION in just the first year! Of course, every special interest group that gets money from taxpayers will be in enthusiastic support of raising Scott’s sales tax to 11¢. Wait a few years and they’ll want to make it 12¢.
How much money does Scott have now?
The first question when presented with any new tax proposal is, of course, do they really more money? The best place to find this out is by having a look at their income over the last ten years. Here’s the chart we put together for the taxes they’ve collected over the last ten years, with the eleventh year as an estimate.
The numbers work out differently, depending on how you run them. From 2009 to 2018, total tax revenue went up 57%. However, if we calculate the ten years from 2010 to our estimates of 2019, the tax revenue would be a 144% increase! Even the year-over-year increase for the sales tax is a startling 44%.