Tangi School Tax Update – 4/27/11

From our friend C. B. Forgotston, there is this analysis that you won’t see anywhere else.

Sick of it!

The voters of Tangipahoa Parish have been and are continue to be told by the local and Baton Rouge media that if we don’t pass the massive school property and sales taxes on Saturday’s ballot Federal Judge Ivan Lemelle will simply order the taxes be imposed.

Despite my efforts to enlighten the media or at least offer a different point of view (Balance as the media calls it.), you have not read and will not read anything contrary in the print media. It doesn’t fit their agenda of supporting these taxes.

Background

Initially, the judge said that he could impose the taxes himself. When he finally got around to reading the Federal jurisprudence, he backed-off that position. Now, according to the media, the judge can order the school board to impose the taxes on its own volition.

Any (state or federal) judge can issue an order that the sun shall rise in the west, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. Same with ordering a school board to do something which it has no authority to do.

Law

The Louisiana Constitution prohibits the imposition of local property and sales taxes without approval of a majority of the voters who vote in an election for that purpose in the affected area. (See LA Const. Article VI, Section 29(A) and Art. VIII, Section 13(C) 3rd Paragraph.)

If Judge Lemelle orders the Tangipahoa Parish School Board to raise sales and property taxes, the board must appeal the order to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal because they would be violating their oath to uphold the laws of Louisiana. (LA Const. Article X, Section 30).

My opinion

The above is an opinion you’ve not seen in the print media because they will not publish it.

I’m not a law professor nor am I legal scholar. I’m merely a taxpayer in Tangipahoa Parish, am licensed to practice law in Louisiana and have taught at a couple of Louisiana law schools.

C.B.

Early turnout strong in Tangipahoa tax vote

Early voting in Saturday’s Tangipahoa Parish school tax election climbed to unprecedented levels, officials said Tuesday. The high turnout among early voters could indicate that overall voter participation numbers could approach 50 percent, which would be virtually unheard of, said John Russell, Tangipahoa Parish registrar of voters.

Nearly 4,000 voters cast ballots in the early voting period, which ended Saturday, he said.

“Historically, millage elections do not have large turnouts unless there is organized opposition,” said Julian Dufreche, Tangipahoa clerk of court. “In this case, there is organized opposition.”

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