Election Trend: Voters Hate Tax Referendums  

Many political observers were surprised to see the defeat of several routine tax measures on the March 24 ballots, leaving some to wonder if this is a growing trend around the state. The election failures could have implications for the upcoming special session, especially for lawmakers who remain on the fence when it comes to revenue enhancers.

If voters are overwhelmingly rejecting tax renewals and increases at the polls, what will they do to lawmakers who approve the same at the Capitol?

In St. Tammany, a sales tax renewal for maintenance of the parish courthouse and jail were defeated for the third time in less than two years, the latter by 140 votes. Parish President Pat Brister said that while voters had rejected the taxes, the cost of operating the jail and courthouse would mean an $18 million cut to parish services elsewhere.

Sheriff Randy Smith said the failure of the tax renewal also means that his department will have to reduce its staff and lower the inmate population. The loss comes at a particularly difficult time for Smith, as the department is dealing with a string of scathing news reports about its practices and a federal grand jury has been impaneled to investigate former Sheriff Jack Strain.

“I think it’s a referendum on the parish government,” said James Hartman, a longtime political consultant in St. Tammany, when asked about the tax votes.

In St. Helena, voters handily defeated another tax — for the third time. Sheriff Nathaniel Williams had proposed raising the parish’s property taxes in order to fund salaries for additional deputies. The sheriff said that he is unable to stay fully staffed when the pay for deputies in St. Helena is significantly less than neighboring parishes.

In St. Landry Parish, proposed property tax hikes to fund parish schools were soundly defeated. Passage of the two proposals would have allowed the parish to raise teacher salaries and fund capital improvement projects for the school system. Local insiders say that defeat of the taxes means that the cash-strapped school board will have to now consider other means of funding.

This story was originally published in LaPolitics Weekly on March 29, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite community by subscribing today!

SPONSORED: LPCA Hold 35th Annual Conference

TPG’s client Louisiana Primary Care Association (LPCA) held their 35th Annual Conference last week at the Shreveport Convention Center. LPCA

The Tuesday Tracker Sponsored By Harris, DeVille & Associates

October 16, 2018 — Issue No. 161 By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com) & Mitch Rabalais (Mitch@LaPolitics.com) (Printable

CORRECTION (LaPolitics Weekly 10.12.18)

In a “Field Notes” brief from yesterday’s LaPolitics Weekly, we erroneously reported that the Plaquemines Parish Council voted 4-3 to remove

The WEDNESDAY Tracker, Sponsored By Harris DeVille & Associates

October 10, 2018 — Issue No. 160 By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com) & Mitch Rabalais (Mitch@LaPolitics.com) RISPONE IS IN Fast

SPONSORED: Bike MS + Team Blu Collar = Success

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you work as a team, focused on one goal and motivating each other to succeed. On October 6 and

SPONSORED: The Picard Group

TUESDAY TRACKER (For Oct. 2!)

October 2, 2018 — Issue No. 159 By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com) & Mitch Rabalais (Mitch@LaPolitics.com)  IT AIN’T

SPONSORED: Honoring Former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

The Picard Group was honored to attend the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center gala on Friday, September 21, supporting UL

SPONSORED: Franco-Fête 2018 Fundraising Luncheon For Scholarship Program Of CODOFIL

Each year, Franco-Fête raises funds to support French education in Louisiana, especially through La Fondation Louisiane’s “Escadrille

The Tuesday Tracker (Sponsored By Harris DeVille & Associates)

September 18, 2018 — Issue No. 158 By Jeremy Alford (JJA@LaPolitics.com) & Mitch Rabalais

CAPITOL GAINS: Does Louisiana need a lieutenant governor?

You’ve really need to watch this interview. From being mistaken for Coach O and fielding attacks from fellow Republicans, to why John

SPONSORED: The Picard Group

A Rare WEDNESDAY Tracker!

Five questions for JBJ at 86, a giveaway contest, forgotten history, AG versus JBE, more "Chatter" and some rather important birthdays (no

SPONSORED: Successful LegisGator Event Honors Lawmakers

On August 24, more than 800 legislators, business leaders, supporters, lobbyists, and others involved in the political realm gathered at

SWAMPERS & SWORDS: Alford’s late summer’s ode to Louisiana’s cities, towns, & villages

SWAMPERS & SWORDS Alford’s late summer’s ode to Louisiana's cities, towns, & villages IF YOU’RE GOING TO DIVE into a review

Rabalais’ Political History: Wade O. Martin & the creation of the modern SOS office

In 1956, an epic power struggle between two political giants forever changed the scope of statewide elected offices in Louisiana. The

ALFORD: You Want Mayors? We’ve Got Mayors!

ALFORD’S SYNDICATED OPINION COLUMN You Want Mayors? We've Got Mayors! Fake mayors, real mayors, convicted mayors, interim mayors,

POLITICAL CHATTER

The Louisiana Lottery is about to have some competition. The Mississippi Legislature voted this afternoon to create a lottery there. Gov.

#HBD TRACKERS!

Today: Cary Koch, Craig McCulloch and Tammi Arender Wednesday 08/29: Quay McKnight, Kevin Blanchard and Paul Coussan Thursday

Gamard: PAC Shoots With “Shooter”

Rep. Blake Miguez — if you’re unfamiliar with his gun-fueled background, hit up Google now — is the featured political player in a new

WEEKLY: Players Who Could Be Mayors

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 16, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

WATCH THE WHIP: Is Scalise the preferred speaker candidate?

This story was originally published for Weekly subscribers on August 16, 2018. Wish you had read it then? Become a part of our elite

YOU’VE BEEN GRADED: LABI Releases 20th Scorecard

YOU’VE BEEN GRADED LABI releases 20th scorecard Much more than fiscal cliff was reviewed Marketing campaign linked to con-con

ALFORD’S OPINION COLUMN: Dismissing Congressional Clout Concerns

Not too long ago, at least in reporter years, I was utilizing the space in this weekly column with some regularity to write about the loss

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY: When Time Is On Your Side

RABALAIS’ POLITICAL HISTORY When Time Is On Your Side Uncle Harry’s 32-year streak & the longevity of statewide elected