In a recent letter to the editor, Chris Frink, executive director of the Louisiana House Democratic Caucus, said that the approval of the CATS tax will “help the city move toward a better future” and also implied that it will bring about more “togetherness” for the parish. Oh, please!
Since when do dirty political tricks like losing fair and square once, then creating a gerrymandered district guaranteed to exclude pesky taxpayers who voted “no” the first time, bring about more “togetherness”? I, unfortunately, am one of those pesky taxpayers who is now on the hook for a service I will never use and having to pay 17 percent more! I can tell you I am not feeling the love for the city of Baton Rouge right now — so much for a new “togetherness.”
And exactly what will be done with this huge pot of gold, this $18 million annual infusion of cash? I don’t remember seeing a financial projection on how this windfall will be spent. And who will be stewards of these tax dollars? Well, the Louisiana Legislature is considering a bill that would take oversight away from our elected (accountable) Metro Council members and create a committee with the appointees by the Baton Rouge and Baker mayors and the Metro Council and nominees from such neutral groups as Together Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Black Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. Give me a break!
I contend that we are hardly moving toward a better city but are well on our way to destroying a once great, great one, following the path of Detroit, Stockton and many others. It starts with failing public schools, rampant crime and violence, undermining every aspect of the quality of life. As a result, people flee to the suburbs or beyond for better schools and safer communities. Sound familiar? And then the final nail in the coffin, those who remain behind are forced to pay more and more taxes as the base shrinks until they too have had enough and move away.
I am glad Frink is a praying man. Prayers may very well be all that’s left to save this city.
retired general manager
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