Are you taking an out-of-state summer vacation?|
|From prisons to schools|
On the May 5 election day, I'll be in a canoe in Missouri with my friend Chris Moore, floating down a river fishing for smallmouth bass.
So, I'll be casting an absentee ballot this week, and I'll be voting yes on both school tax proposals.
If I lived within the city limits of Winnsboro, I would also vote yes on the city tax for road.
In past years people in the parish have rejected a number of tax proposals for schools, and there were some legitimate reasons to question past tax proposals.
Some people thought the tax proposals were too ambitious, and other people thought the tax proposals were not ambitious enough.
I voted for the school taxes in the past, but I never fell out with those people who didn't. They apparently didn't like the way school business was being conducted, and they registered their disapproval at the ballot box.
Freedom of choice. That's the American way.
But this tax proposal is a no-brainer.
A vote against this school tax is not a vote against taxes, but a vote against schools.
The school board is asking for a 15-mill property tax and one-half cent sales tax. Combined the two taxes would generate some $14 million over a period of 10 years.
Any reasonable person would say that our schools are underfunded. We need commodes that will flush and roofs that will not leak.
We need textbooks and money for teachers and cafeteria workers. We need science labs and athletic equipment and school buses. The needs are endless.
But the real kicker on this school tax proposal is that it won't cost anybody anything extra.
We now have a chance to give the school system some $14 million without raising taxes because Sheriff Steve Pylant has decided to stop collecting a 9-mill property tax and a one-half cent sales tax dedicated to law enforcement and the Franklin Parish Detention Center.
And the15-mill property tax includes a 5-mill renewal tax that the school board has been collecting for many, many years.
Plain and simple--this is what it boils down to.
On May 5, parish voters will have a chance to divert millions of dollars from the prison to the schools.
I'm for that.