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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Early voting for taxes underway

  • Officials with two parish agencies are urging supporters to take advantage of early voting, which begin today at the Morehouse Parish Registrar of Voters office.


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  • Officials with two parish agencies are urging supporters to take advantage of early voting, which begin today at the Morehouse Parish Registrar of Voters office.
     
    The Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office and Morehouse Parish Police Jury each have sales tax proposals on the ballot for elections scheduled for April 30.
     
    The registrar’s office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today to accept ballots from early voters. The same hours will be observed Monday through Thursday and again on Saturday. The office will be closed April 22 for Good Friday.
     
    The sheriff’s office is seeking a one-cent sales tax that will be collected in unincorporated areas of the parish. Projections show the measure would generate an estimated $820,000 annually for operations of the Sheriff’s Office.
     
    Sheriff Mike Tubbs said declining tax collections coupled with the loss of more than $500,000 in revenue from the Louisiana Department of Corrections has left his office in dire straits.
     
    “We’ve rolled back salaries for everyone and cut just about everything we can,” Tubbs said. “I’m reluctant to even say this, because I don’t want people thinking we’re trying to scare them into supporting the tax, but there’s not much cutting left to do before we start having to lay people off.”
     
    “I wish I could say if we get this passed that we’d be able to do more, but the truth is we need it just to keep doing what we’re doing,” Tubbs said.
     
    Police Jury president Terry Matthews said that group’s tax is needed just as badly. It, also, is a one-cent sales tax collected in unincorporated parts of the parish that will generate a projected $820,000 annually for road and drainage work. The jury has another one-cent levy for roads and drainage, but escalating costs leave only half the amount collected available for projects.
     
    “We done all we can to stretch this money as far as it will go,” Matthews said. “People want us to do more, and we need this revenue to get those things accomplished. If we don’t, I’m afraid some of the roads we’ve worked to improve and maintain over the years will get just as bad or worse than they were before.”
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