Calcasieu tax proposals: Sewer, mosquitos and justice - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu tax proposals: Sewer, mosquitos and justice

It's down to the wire as those supporting three taxes on Saturday's ballot strive to get the word out on why the money is needed and the benefits they say approval will bring.

The three proposals are: a new tax for sewerage outside the cities and two parishwide renewals. One is for mosquito control and another for criminal justice.

The District Attorney and Calcasieu Parish administrator made one last public appearance before a group of local business leaders, and parish leaders made a final pitch to members of the Chief Executives Club.

District Attorney John DeRosier emphasized the criminal justice property tax is a renewal. 

"If we lost one third of our operating budget, that would devastate the district attorney's office and our ability to help law enforcement keep this a safe place to live," said DeRosier.

DeRosier says they've made progress requiring those who use the system to fund it. The tax was first approved in 1985 and is subject to the homestead exemption, which means taxpayers don't pay it on the first $75,000 of the value of their home.

"An individual who owns a home assessed at $250,000 would pay about $4.60 per month," said DeRosier.

The new sewerage proposal generated lively discussion. Parish Administrator Bryan Beam admits it's just a start when it comes to tackling what has been a chronic problem in outlying areas and deprived areas, like the Moss Bluff area of new businesses.

"Walmart moved because of that. I think Kroger has been somewhat public that they won't put a Kroger store up there. Time after time, they just mark us off the list," said Beam.

Most in the CEO club appear to favor the sewerage proposal to help with economic development and quality of life.

"It's something that over the years has been ignored, and it doesn't get any cheaper. Everybody says, 'Well it's so expensive.'  It's not going to get any cheaper in the future," said Tim Flavin, of Flavin Realty.

The sewerage proposal is a quarter percent sales tax offset by a reduction in a road and garbage tax, except in the Moss Bluff area.

Officials say the Mosquito Tax is a key component in protecting public health.

For links to local ballots click here.

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