Jennings voters to vote on sales tax - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jennings voters to vote on sales tax

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - Voters in Jennings will go to the polls on Saturday, March 27 to decide whether to approve a one percent sales tax for police, fire, public works and other city services.  The tax has been collected since 1978. However, for legal reasons the ballot won't call the tax a renewal and city officials want to make sure people know it's not a new tax.

Some of the workers effected include those we find deep in a wooded area behind the city sewerage plant.  The  Jennings city employees work in the mud and water today. They're checking for a leak in one of the city's main lines into the sewerage plant. The one per cent sales tax first passed in 1977 pays their salaries and other costs to operate their department and others in the city including streets and bridges, drainage and parks along with fire and police.

Jennings Mayor Terry Duhon says they need voters to continue the tax. "This is our meat and potatoes because it does fund our police and fire which is our two emergency services."

 However, due to the sort of legal snafu, state election officials suggest the tax may already have expired. Explained the mayor, "City officials were working off of a 1985 ordinance that was prepared by our then bonding attorneys basically extending the life of the tax. We felt that the tax wasn't going to expire until December 31st of 2010."

 State election officials would not allow the city to call the tax a renewal on the ballot. The mayor said, "So to get it on the ballot we couldn't use the word renewal or continuation."

 But Duhon states emphatically that it's not a new tax. "This is a continuation of the tax that was passed in 1977. We're not asking for a third cent."

 The mayor says services would be cut, jobs would be lost and that the city would face a huge financial crisis if the tax is not approved. "We may have to cut services and lay off individuals. It would be pretty devastating for a city our size."

 And many citizens do seem sympathetic to the city's dilemma. Citizen Charles Wilson said was one of those we caught at the post office. "I think they need it. I think it ought to go through," he said.

  Citizen Jeryl Bertrand said, "They can't do it without the money. We need to provide them with the finances to provide those services." The one per cent sales tax brings in about $2 million a year.

We'll be checking with the La. Secretary of State's Office and Louisiana Attorney General to find out their take on whether the tax is officially still on the books and whether it was okay to collect it these past eight years or so.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Jurors watch confession video in trial of Johnnie Hardman

    Jurors watch confession video in trial of Johnnie Hardman

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:54 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:54:06 GMT
    Johnnie Hardman (Source: KPLC)Johnnie Hardman (Source: KPLC)

    Jurors heard from a man who was robbed at the Twelve Palms RV Park the day that Joshua Touchet was shot and died.

    Witness Clinton Curtice told how there were three men and that one approached him with a handgun and demanded money.  Curtice identified that man as Johnnie Hardman. Hardman is on trial on a charge of first degree-murder.

    More >>

    Jurors heard from a man who was robbed at the Twelve Palms RV Park the day that Joshua Touchet was shot and died.

    Witness Clinton Curtice told how there were three men and that one approached him with a handgun and demanded money.  Curtice identified that man as Johnnie Hardman. Hardman is on trial on a charge of first degree-murder.

    More >>
  • Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Invest 90L likely poses little to no threat to SWLA

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 7:25 PM EDT2018-05-23 23:25:07 GMT
    Monitoring the Gulf for any developmentMonitoring the Gulf for any development

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located south of the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a 0% chance of development over the next couple of days before increasing late-week and weekend as it pushes into the Gulf of Mexico.

    More >>

    The National Hurricane Center continues to highlight an area in Gulf of Mexico for potential tropical development over the next five days. This area to watch is currently located south of the Yucatan Peninsula and strong wind shear will keep this area at a 0% chance of development over the next couple of days before increasing late-week and weekend as it pushes into the Gulf of Mexico.

    More >>
  • Proposed financial incentive for finishing I-210 bridge repair project early

    Proposed financial incentive for finishing I-210 bridge repair project early

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 7:04 PM EDT2018-05-23 23:04:35 GMT
    (Source: Monsour’s Photography)(Source: Monsour’s Photography)
    (Source: Monsour’s Photography)(Source: Monsour’s Photography)

    Lake area motorists could be in for long-term delays when the repair project begins on the I-210.  Now there's talk of reducing the impact, by offering financial incentives to finish the project early. According to a news release, The Calcasieu Parish Gaming Revenue District will meet Friday to discuss the proposed local financial incentive for the early completion of the project by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.. The meeting will start at 9:0...

    More >>

    Lake area motorists could be in for long-term delays when the repair project begins on the I-210.  Now there's talk of reducing the impact, by offering financial incentives to finish the project early. According to a news release, The Calcasieu Parish Gaming Revenue District will meet Friday to discuss the proposed local financial incentive for the early completion of the project by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.. The meeting will start at 9:0...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly