I want to bring to your attention House Bill 576, authored by State Representative Chris Broadwater, Republican from Hammond. This bill, a proposed Constitutional Amendment, attempts to enact a state-wide property tax to be dedicated to Higher Education funding. The State Constitution already allows for such a tax; however, no legislator, at least in recent years, has been foolish enough to try and put the tax into effect.

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In my opinion, we should be absolutely OPPOSED to this foolish, horrible precedent. I would have thought some big 'tax and spend' Democrat like Walt Leger or Karen Carter Peterson would have sponsored a bill like this.

Property taxes should remain a local revenue source for funding local wants and needs. If Higher Education is tired of all the cuts to their funding, then those university presidents and board members should demand that state government stop funding local pet projects such as arts centers, ballparks, etc. before expecting the taxpayers to fork over more of their hard-earned income.

Also, with the current Homestead level, this will be a new tax, tax increase, on those same people who are already pulling the bulk of the weight in Louisiana.

This bill is scheduled to be heard in House Ways and Means Committee this Monday, April 29.

The members of this committee are as follows:

Robideaux, Joel C. Chairman 45 R
Williams, Patrick Vice Chair 4 D
Barras, Taylor F. Member 48 R
Barrow, Regina Member 29 D
Bishop, Wesley T. Member 99 D
Broadwater, Christopher Member 86 R
Burford, Richard T. Member 7 R
Danahay, Michael E. Member 33 D
Guillory, Mickey J. Member 41 D
Hazel, Lowell C. Member 27 R
Hoffmann, Frank A. Member 15 R
Johnson, Robert A. Member 28 D
Lambert, Eddie J. Member 59 R
Ritchie, Harold L. Member 75 D
Stokes, Julie Member 79 R
Thibaut, Major Member 18 D
Thompson, Jeff R. Member 8 R
Whitney, Lenar L. Member 53 R
Willmott, Thomas P. Member 92 R
Kleckley, Chuck Ex Officio 36 R
Leger, Walt III Ex Officio 91 D

 

If you don't see your State Representative on this list, contact the one who is closest to your district and please voice your desire for a 'NO' vote on this bill. We should also contact our State Reps., whether on this committee or not, and ask that they vote 'NO' should this bill make it to the House floor for a full chamber vote.

We are already taxed enough by the Federal and State Governments. In the State of Louisiana, our elected officials first need to prioritize their spending, and the Higher Education bureaucrats need to demand they do such, before coming to the taxpayers and asking us to cough up more of our hard-earned incomes.

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Nick Bouterie

Independent Landman

Alderman - Town of Iota, Acadia Parish