Letter to the Editor: Millage increase is not the answer

Published 4:32 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dear Editor,

Are you serious?

Please vote “no” this Saturday. In a nutshell, Bogalusa property owners are being asked by our city officials to replace the retirement money that they promised to their past employees. Let’s just keep it real.

Currently, there are almost 200 properties in Bogalusa being sold online because property taxes were not paid. There are even more delinquent taxes not yet listed. The last thing we need is a 25-percent increase in property taxes. For some people, if the tax passed, they could lose their home.

This tax brings back the tax that ended in 2017. We paid three mills for the retirement fund for 10 years. This new proposal adds an additional 12 mills, for a total of 15 mills. This is to make up for the money spent plus 20 years of future retirement.

Property owners are in desperate need of road repairs. This tax increase, “makes sure the tax is not used for road repair.” This makes no sense if they are the group chosen to pay the tax.

For years, the retirement problem has been addressed, ignored and pre-empted every time nonessential spending was made. It was ignored and pre-empted when the salaries of city officials increased; when tax money was spent on a new walkway in Cassidy Park; when Union Square began matching the tourist district of New Orleans; when money was spent on licensing and permitting of alcohol in Cassidy park; etc, etc.

If city council meetings were not conducted like witch-hunts, where the decisions appear to have already been made before the meeting, this under-planned, nonsensical, intrusive tax proposal would not exist.

With hopeful certainty and contrary to the previous two Daily News articles, I pray that all five members of the council and the two council-at-larges and the mayor are NOT all in agreement with this tax. If they ALL are, it is not only Houston that has a problem.

Really? Our entire city government would increase property taxes by 25 percent to put back retirement money someone else misused, and then add lagniappe. Where are the cameras? This has got to be a prank. It cannot be real, that it would even be suggested as a solution. Who is thinking? These same people want to be elected this November. Really?

Our city is dying. Our roads are deplorable. Our educational system is divided. Crime is rising. Businesses are failing. If our city won the cleanest city award in its district, I would hate to see the other seven cities. What roads did they drive down?

Thank God … that by law, some things have to be voted on. Just in case the “leaders” have incorrectly acted on behalf of the people, the people can speak for themselves. Let the council sit back at the table and come up with a better solution. Please go and vote “no” to this 25-percent tax increase.

Tina Ratliff