Just Talking’ for Sept. 19, 2019

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JT has seen the first signs of Christmas. Driving across the Church Street Bridge this week JT saw city crews were already putting the lighted displays up on the riverbank. We’ll have the Christmas look before you know it.

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JT’s curiosity about what was going to happen in that store on Front Street with all the windows papered was answered yesterday. Opening Friday at 550 Front St. will be Clary’s Christmas Company. It will be a year round Christmas store featuring all-things Christmas. …including personalized items and ornaments, Louisiana themed products, home décor and more. What a great addition to Front Street. We can now get the Christmas spirit year round.

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We’re in the final phase of the Oct. 12 election. The last campaign finance reports prior to the election have been filed and now the candidates are in high gear. JT read with interest the Parish President candidates statements in the Times last Thursday. A common thread seems to be more money for roads. However, JT didn’t see much discussion on how they would accomplish that.

We’ve got taxes for road districts, fire district, levee district, school districts, law enforcement districts, library districts, parish wide….and so on and so forth. Some of these taxing districts have built up some pretty sizable rainy day funds. So that means…just like our state budget…we have a lot of dedicated funding for parish citizens to absorb.

There are simply no more pieces to the money pie; unless you take it from someone else. That leaves us facing another possible tax vote to improve our roads and there’s just not a big enough tax base to yield the dollars necessary. JT has said this before, but it bears repeating. We have to take a look at the sacred cow of Louisiana—-Homestead Exemption.

We should lower that exemption threshold from the first $75,000. Take it down to $50,000 or even $30,000 and dedicate those additional funds it would generate to parish infrastructure. Surely this can be done by legislative act. JT knows you can’t do anything to supersede state law, but if you can get legislative approval to increase your sales tax rate above the state cap, then surely you can do this too.

There is one other hope though…and that’s would be an increase in severance taxes paid to the parish. However, the increase in oil and gas activity or timber sales is out of our hands. There is a good deal of drilling in parishes to the north and west of us, but we’re not seeing it here.

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JT reads where Les Miles will pick up his fourth victory over Nick Saban this year. On the gridiron, Saban has bested Miles 8 to 3. However, this win isn’t on the field. Miles actually beat Saban into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Miles was inducted last year, while Saban will lead next year’s class of Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees…which also includes Duck Commander founder Phil Robertson.

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