As a resident of Ascension Parish District 4 who also works within the parish, I wanted to share my insight regarding the proposed Ascension Parish Road tax.
I am a licensed civil engineer who was once an Ascension Parish employee working on road projects. During my three years with Ascension Parish, I learned there are nearly 500 miles of parish-owned roadway, but no dedicated funds to pay for their maintenance.
If you have your old property tax bill hanging around, please take a look at where your money goes: fire police, libraries, school, etc. You won’t see roads listed on that bill!
All of the services we pay for deserve to be funded and are important to the community, but we can’t expect roads to be built without funds. It was hard for me to address resident complaints about roadways, when I knew the parish had no money to fix the problems.
It is also important to understand how the tax will be collected. If passed, the tax is a half-percent sales tax NOT a property tax. Most consumers would not think twice about purchasing goods in Baton Rouge, where the tax rate is currently higher than Ascension would be after the increase.
Before deciding you are not willing to pay the minimal increase at the register, consider the impact that decreased traffic delay and increased road safety will have on your quality of life. The increased sales tax will not only be paid by residents, but everyone who spends money in Ascension Parish.
Our students are constantly rated at the top of the state because we invest in our school system. We must invest similarly in our transportation system if we wish to achieve the same high standards in our roads.
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