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$45,000 lost due to ballot language error

Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm

By Kyle Boaz

The Louisiana city committees met at their regularly scheduled time on Monday, July 9, and covered a variety of topics with taxes, Star Hill and hemp at the forefront of conversations.
The city has missed out on collecting $45,000 in taxes due to ballot language from a 2015 measure.
“Our transportation tax and our storm sewer tax was not matching our other sales tax. Upon further investigation the language was written to where the utilities did not have that increase put on them,” Henderson said.
The language was a ballot measure passed in 2015 that raised the transportation tax a quarter of a cent and the storm sewer tax a half cent with no sunset. It was unknown who drafted the language.
The intent of that measure was to also add that tax to all utilities, according to Henderson.
The loss from the non-collection was about 15 to 17 percent, or $30,000 in transportation tax and $15,000 in storm sewer tax, according to Henderson.
To amend that language an amendment would have to go on the ballot.
“As long as we stay steady where we’re at we can service the debt. We’re just not going to have much on the back side as we originally talked about to do some other things on other roads. It’s going to be tougher to do,” Henderson said.
The city has received half as much use tax in June 2017 compared to June 2018, according to Brown.
Last year use collections were $20,000 in June; this June collections were $10,000.
Use tax is only applied if an item like a car or an appliance is purchased out-of-state, costs over $2,000 and is brought into town.
The Georgia St. project is moving along with a bid of $50,855 for a mini excavator. The funds will come from sanitary sewer bonds (70 percent), storm sewer bonds (15 percent) and water bonds (15 percent).

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