Calcasieu voters reject two tax proposals

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Voters in Calcasieu Parish rejected two tax proposals Saturday, forcing the police jury to reexamine the issues at a future date.

Voters did not approve of a 10-year, 5.75-mill property tax that would have gone to the upkeep of the parish courthouse, jailhouse and other public buildings.

Voters defeated this measure 57% to 43%.

The man who pushed the hardest for the passage of the sales tax, Parish Administrator Bryan Beam, said the issue will have to be revisited.

"The Police Jury understands that the environment is challenging right now for passage of any tax, and the election results are reflective of that," said Beam.  "We are still required by state law to maintain courthouse and jail facilities, so the issue will have to be revisited."

Voters also rejected a sales tax proposal that would have been used to support roads and waste collection and disposal efforts in the unincorporated areas of Calcasieu Parish.  This measure failed by just eight votes.

"With the defeat of the sales tax, there is no provision for funding garbage collection in these areas beyond 2010.  With the vote being so close, we will need to gauge public input regarding how to move forward from here," said Beam.

Voters in the Ward 4 fire district did approve a renewal of a 8.65-mill maintenance tax.  This measure passed overwhelmingly 83% to 16%.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State, voter  turnout was just under seven percent.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE VOTING RESULTS:

*CALCASIEU PROPERTY TAX RENEWAL/COURTHOUSE MAINTENANCE

3691  YES   43.33 PERCENT

4827 NO   56.67 PERCENT

*1.5% SALES TAX PROPOSAL/WASTE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL

1457  YES   49.86 PERCENT

1465 NO    50.14 PERCENT

*WARD FOUR /FIRE DEPARTMENT TAX RENEWAL

195  YES   83.33 PERCENT

39   NO    16.67 PERCENT

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