Judge’s race, tax proposals on ballot
Published 7:12 am Friday, April 5, 2013
Washington Parish voters will head to the polls Saturday to cast their vote on several tax propositions and for a district judge.
Early voting took place in two locations March 23-30. As expected, turnout was light, Registrar of Voters Randy Strickland said. A total of 428 people participated in early voting at the parish courthouse in Franklinton, and 217 voted early in Bogalusa at Northshore Technical Community College, Sullivan Campus, he said. The parish has 27,272 registered voters.
One factor in the low early voting turnout was the fact that it took place during Easter break, Strickland said. The college was closed that entire week, as were the local grade schools, and many people were travelling or had other activities going on, he said.
The courthouse location averaged 71 early voters a day for the April 6 election. In contrast, Strickland said, the daily average there was 330 during early voting for November’s presidential election.
Strickland anticipates turnout will be light again Saturday, particularly since a warm and sunny day is forecast.
“You’ll still have several come out, but if it’s a beautiful, sunny weekend, that’s going to really affect the turnout,” he said.
Polls will be open Saturday from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Voters must bring a picture ID, preferably a driver’s license or state-issued ID.
It is not necessary to bring one’s voter registration card, Strickland said.
Depending on where they live, voters will have as few as two or as many as four items on their ballot.
All parish voters will have a say in the race for district judge for the 22nd Judicial District Court, Division G. The candidates are Scott Gardner and Alan A. Zaunbrecher, both Republicans.
Parish voters, except those residing within the city limits of Franklinton, will decide on a .33 percent sales tax that would be levied for a 20-year year period. The proposition reads:
Shall the Parish of Washington, State of Louisiana, under the provisions of Article VI, Section 30 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, as amended, and other constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to levy and collect, a tax of one-third of one percent (.33%) (the “Tax”) (an estimated $1,400,000 is reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), within the Parish (excluding the area within the municipal boundaries of the Town of Franklinton), upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services therein, for a period of twenty (20) years, commencing July 1, 2013, with the net proceeds of the Tax to be dedicated and used to acquire, construct, equip, maintain, administer and operate services and facilities in the civil, juvenile and criminal justice system and enhance public safety, mandated by state statute to be funded by parish governments, and any other lawful purposes, with the proceeds of the Tax being subject to funding into bonds?
Information from the parish government about the sales tax proposal is available online at www.washingtonparishalerts.org.
Those residing within Sales Tax District No. 1, including Franklinton, Mt. Hermon, Angie and Varnado residents and some Bogalusa residents, will vote on the following provision, which would rededicate a portion of a .67 percent sales tax approved on April 6, 2002 to solid waste and other services within the parish:
Shall Sales Tax District No. One of the Parish of Washington, State of Louisiana, under the provisions of Article VI, Section 30 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, as amended, and other constitutional and statutory authority, be authorized to rededicate a portion of the .67% tax previously approved on April 6, 2002 (the “Tax”) (an estimated $1,600,000 reasonably expected to be collected from the Tax for one year), upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption, and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services within the District, to continue to be levied in perpetuity, with net proceeds of the Tax in excess of that needed for solid waste to be dedicated as follows: (i) 68% shall continue to be dedicated to the Parish for costs of services legally obligated to pay, (ii) 15% shall be dedicated to the Parish for legally mandated criminal justice and public safety system costs; (iii) 3% shall be dedicated to the Parish for landfill construction cost; and (iv) 12% to the Town of Franklinton, 1% to the Village of Angie and 1% to the Village of Varnado for the purposes previously dedicated?
Voters living within the boundaries of the Washington Parish School System, or School District No. 2 — generally, all parish residents except those in Ward 4, or Bogalusa — will have on their ballot a provision that would renew a maintenance tax used to operate public schools and school-related facilities. The 4.83-mill tax would be levied for a 10-year period:
Shall School District No. 2 of the Parish of Washington, State of Louisiana (the “District”), continue to levy a tax of four and eighty-three hundredths (4.83) mills on all the property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $401,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, commencing with the year 2014 and ending with the year 2023, for the purpose of constructing, acquiring, improving, maintaining and operating schools and school related facilities for the public schools of the District, and providing equipment and furnishings therefor?
A system-produced presentation about the tax can be viewed online at wpsb.org, by clicking on the “WPSS Capital Improvements” link.