On April 29, you will have the opportunity to vote on two sales tax renewals that support the Justice Center and the Parish Jail. Your Chamber Board of Directors has studied and recommends support of both of these sales tax renewals. Both provide a reduction from the current rate of ¼ cent each to 1/5 cent and the term has been decreased from 20 years to 10 years. Originally approved by voters in 1998, these taxes have been used to fund the construction, operations and maintenance of the Justice Center Complex and Jail facilities. With the upcoming payout of the bonds issued for construction, both sales taxes are being proposed to continue at a 20% reduction from the original propositions.
VOTE YES: Justice Center Sales Tax Renewal – PW Prop. No. 1
This tax funds the maintenance and operations of the Justice Center Complex in Covington which houses the Sheriff, District Attorney, Registrar of Voters, Clerk of Court, Assessor, Public Defender, and 22nd Judicial District Court. Funds from this sales tax also fund the offices of the same agencies (Sheriff excepted) at the Towers building in Slidell, which provides services to citizens on the east side of the parish.
Additionally, the Justice Center proposition includes a rededication of 10% of the revenue from this sales tax to provide a sustainable source of funding for the St. Tammany 22nd JDC Specialty Courts which include: Behavioral Health Court, Adult Drug Court, Juvenile Drug Court, Re-Entry Court, Family Preservation Court, DWI Court, and Veterans Court. These specialty courts provide an alternative to incarceration for qualified non-violent offenders, offering treatment and an opportunity to re-enter the community as productive citizens.
A vote “Yes” will allow the Parish to continue the current level of service and provide for the safety of the parish.
A vote “No” would mean cuts in services and the parish would have to explore alternative revenue sources to meet mandated expenses. This would also result in the closure of the Towers building satellite offices in Slidell.
VOTE YES: Jail Sales Tax Renewal – PW Prop. No. 2
This tax is the primary source of revenue for the St. Tammany Parish Jail’s operating budget. A vote “Yes” would allow the Sheriff’s office to continue to operate the jail at the current capacity and manpower, providing a safe environment for inmates and staff while keeping criminals off the street.
A vote “No” would result in reduced funding, a cut in services, including a possible closure of a portion of the jail, including layoffs (200 deputies are employed at the Jail). The Sheriff would also have to explore alternative revenue sources to meet mandated expenses.
We encourage our members, your employees, and all citizens of St. Tammany Parish to vote “Yes” for these sales tax renewals and preserve the quality of life we love in St. Tammany Parish.
Election Day is Saturday, April 29 election and Early Voting will run April 15-22.