Lincoln Jury Votes to Keep Property Tax Rates Steady

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), on an 8-2 vote, kept millage rates the same as last year on one of the property taxes seized from parish property owners. The action came at last night’s regular monthly meeting of the jury.

The General Alimony, a tax levied that can used for “any public purpose” was for 2016 levied at 1.68 mils for residents inside Ruston city limits, and 3.37 mils for those residents outside. Legally, the jury could have rolled those rates up to 1.82 and 3.65 mils if they so chose. The roll-forward would have resulted in an additional $100 thousand in total taxes seized from property owners.

Voting for the roll-up were Hazel Hunter and Sharyon Mayfield.

Voting no were Bobby Bennett, Randy Roberson, David Hammons, Walter Pullen, Jody Backus, Skip Russell, Nancy Wilson, and Annette Straughter.

Theresa Wyatt and Joe Henderson were absent.

The vote came after a public hearing on the tax ordinance that heard some pointed comments about taxes and government spending from Ruston resident Lou Taylor.

Taylor lamented the burden of property and sales taxes, and where the money goes.

Said Taylor, “So many of here don’t know what’s happening with the money, and we don’t want any more taxes. We can’t buy groceries, we can’t buy medicines, we can’t buy cars, because we’re paying almost 11 percent in this city and parish in sales taxes.” She added, “We just need to know what is happening with the revenue that is available to this police jury, and I feel the same way about the (Ruston) City Council. There comes a limit when people can just keep paying and paying.”

Taylor also questioned why the parish detention center keeps so many prisoners and needed so much money.

She asked, “Why are so may held before they can be adjudicated? They can’t work, they can’t do anything. Is that our court system, is that our DA, or is that the laws – what is it?”

Jury President Randy Roberson noted that the dedicated 1/4 cent sales tax provided only about half the money needed to operate, and that the money paid by the state to house state prisoners helped pay expenses.

In point of fact, the jail’s budget has doubled since Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone took over operation from LaSalle Corrections several years ago. Most of that increase can be attributed to increased payroll.

See here our news story earlier this year documenting the jail’s budgets.

Juror Skip Russell noted that of every dollar of total property taxes levied in Lincoln Parish, the jury collects only 14 cents, compared to the Lincoln Parish Schools Board’s 52 cents.

Said Russell, “If we need to look at cutting taxes – and I think we always need to look at that – we need to look at a number of different agencies in Lincoln Parish.”

The rollback/roll forward exercise will be repeated at the September 12 meeting for the jury’s dedicated (roads, library) property taxes.

We will be there to cover the meeting.

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7 Responses to “Lincoln Jury Votes to Keep Property Tax Rates Steady”

  1. Hicoman Says:

    Yes Lou Taylor, we should be concerned with where our hard earned tax money is going. Still a unanswered question, why did the LPNET pay over $200,000 over the value of property on 167 Haddox Road?

  2. D'arbonne Says:

    Why the hell are our Jurors absent so much? Surely some of them read this site. I’d like a response. Where I work, absenteeism is tracked and poured over like gospel, and people are held accountable.
    I’m tempted to take out an ad in the Leader next election cycle and publish the absenteeism rates.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Someone needs to ask Ms Wilson why is it that she as Chairperson of the building committee has missed the last two meetings of that committee. Yet she showed up for the regular jury meeting.

      • D'arbonne Says:

        I realize that a Juror position pays very little. But, you have to really want the job—to run for the office takes time and effort. Why would you do that and then not bother showing up to the meetings?
        Truly, I’m asking a member of the Jury to respond. What’s up with the absenteeism?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Jury elections are not a popularity contest? Who knew?

  3. Cowboy Says:

    “Said Russell, ‘If we need to look at cutting taxes – and I think we always need to look at that – we need to look at a number of different agencies in Lincoln Parish.’”

    Skip Russell is exactly right! There are a number of agencies around Lincoln Parish siphoning off taxpayer money like the useless Rural Fire Board. Lou Taylor is right that Lincoln Parish residents are tapped out on paying more taxes and need some relief. A good start would be to begin eliminating some of these useless agencies like Rural Fire Protection sold as a volunteer force needed for rural fire protection when there wasn’t a rural fire problem in the first place. Tom Thompson took it over to make it his personal little fiefdom, and it took a tremendous effort by us to get him kicked out so we could stop his proposed tax increase of expanding the fire tax to EVERY structure on a property.

    Many of us warned back in 1992 when this came up that those who voted for it would eventually get sick of it and the taxes that came with it. Now that parish residents are taxed out, that prophecy is fulfilled.

    We also need to look at the need for a Parish library when the Internet and Amazon place millions of books a click away. Sure, there are some who don’t have Internet, but computers and the Internet are widely available, and most of those same people can be found holding up traffic texting on their smartphone (which does have Internet).

    Ronny Walker is trying to use taxpayer money to create an economic development zone on Cooktown Road to finance private businesses that should be the work of private investors. I don’t care if the tax is limited to the businesses in that zone, taxpayers will still be on the hook, and those businesses will eventually whine for tax relief and get it to the detriment of us all.

    Look people, the only way we’re ever going to get tax relief is to form the TEA Party and run our own conservative candidates against the Big Government Party of the Democrats and Republicans. Eight Jurors voted against rolling up the millage rates and raising taxes. Those are the ones on our side. The other two have an agenda and need to be replaced.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    “Taylor also questioned why the parish detention center keeps so many prisoners and needed so much money.”

    Kingdoms don’t build themselves.

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