What you need to know about the upcoming Sales Tax Election

NOTE – This is the ninth part of a series published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal regarding the upcoming sales tax election. Over the next several weeks we will look at among other things: what a sales tax represents, how the tax is derived, why parish officials feel that an increase is needed, where the additional funds will be applied and when the new tax rate, if approved, will take effect. Today – Changes in revenues/expenses in last five years!

Unlike an election where the voting public chooses one candidate over another because they believe the platform and beliefs that a candidate personifies through speeches and campaign promises, the upcoming choice voters have to make is whether or not the additional money asked for is needed. The best way to project what is needed for the future is to revisit the past. Just how much money does the Solid Waste Department have to deal with today? How much did this department have five years ago? Below is a factual breakdown in dollars of the increases and decreases in revenues and expenses from 2015 and the budget numbers that are for 2021.

Revenues – Solid Waste Fund20152021Difference
Sales Tax Receipts1,302,3851,100,000 (202,285)
Commercial Collection Fees127,225200,000 72,775
Dumping Fees Charged10,76210,000 (762)
Interest9,4343,000 (6,434)
Recycling metal/plastics/paper/etc.21,75916,000 (5,759)
Recycled wood products15,6058,500 (7,105)
Difference in revenue (149,570)
Expenses – Solid Waste Fund20152021Difference
Personnel738,009944,168 206,159
Facility29,38036,177 6,797
Fleet Management193,147236,811 43,664
Building/Infrastructure repair017,552 17,552
Equipment79,554133,929 54,375
General Operating Expenses109,207120,000 10,793
Outside Services246,331336,300 89,969
Transfers out022,000 22,000
Difference in expenses 451,309

The difference in how much money is being brought in is $149,570.00 less than five years ago while the amount of expenses have skyrocketed to $451,309.00. That means the total change in money that the Solid Waste Department has to deal with today is $600,879.00 less than five years ago. The question that has to be considered is what will these amounts look like five years from now? Ten years from now? If the past five years is any indication than it can be expected for revenues to continue to fall while expenses continue to increase. 

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