Public Hearing on Sales Tax Proposition draws large crowd

The final of two Public Hearings in regard to the proposed 1% increase in the sales tax that parish voters will either choose to adopt or turn down on April 24th was held prior to the regular monthly meeting of the Jackson Parish Police Jury this past Monday evening. A large crowd turned out to hear and voice their opinions on the proposition that reads:

Shall the Parish of Jackson, State of Louisiana (the “Parish”), be authorized to levy and collect and adopt an ordinance providing for such levy and collection, a tax of one percent (1%) (the “Tax”) (an estimated $1,850,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year) upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services in the Parish, all as defined by law, for a period of ten (10) years from July 1, 2021, with the proceeds of the Tax (after paying the reasonable and necessary expenses of collecting and administering the Tax), to be dedicated and used for the purpose of waste management, jail and courthouse expansion, road construction and maintenance, and to pay any debt service requirements on bonds issued for such purpose, or any part thereof?

Below is a summary of what was said by those who took the podium to give their opinion.

Gayle Hobson – Suggested that instead of increasing the Sales Tax the Police Jury should take the surplus money the Library has or the reserved funds set aside for the Expo Pavillion and Statutory Reserve. 

Sarah Dark – Understood that the Solid Waste Department needs more funding by wanted the Police Jury to pursue other ways to raise the needed money. Absolutely against the tax. As an example of what could be done stated that she had requested records from Lincoln Parish and learned that they only have eight employees and charged fees for dumping and waste management. 

Floyd Knox (Jackson Parish Library Director) – Wanted clarification on what was discussed at the previous hearing in regard to the Library. Also wanted to know where the Police Jury stood on the Library’s request for emancipation.

Carol Massey (Jackson Parish Library Board President) – Echoed Knox’s sentiments about the Library’s funds being discussed at prior Public Hearing as well informing the Police Jury members about a 10 year capital project plans and plans to remodel the Jonesboro Branch. 

Linda Devine – Stated she is against the sales tax and believes it was brought up a the wrong time. Clarified that she thought a good compromise would using the money the Police Jury already has just in accounts that can’t be accessed.

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