LETTER: LDEC, recreation not same

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Let me begin by making it very clear to the readers that the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center should not be confused with recreation in our parish. Recreation is a separate issue and we will likely be asked to vote for another tax related to recreation needs next year.

Parks and property we now own are in need of repair and programs are lacking. Our recreation fund is minimal and the Nov. 4 property tax for Lamar Dixon adds nothing to that fund.

I have always supported the people deciding what they want to do with Lamar Dixon, but I cannot support the 3-mill property tax on the Nov. 4 ballot for the following reasons:

• Property tax should always benefit the property owner: roads, drainage, fire, school, etc. The purchase and operation of the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center does not benefit property owners.

• This tax is unfair. Half of those attending Lamar-Dixon Expo Center events do not live in Ascension and will not pay this tax. Why buy something when you don't use it?

• This tax will be an additional burden on business especially our petrochemical industry that already pays a large percentage of the property taxes in our parish. To stay competitive in the present economy, we should be considering tax breaks for business.

• Only a few residential property owners will pay. Who are they? Your children and mine because they own the newer homes and higher priced property.

I supported the 1/8 cents sales tax proposed while I was on the Council because everyone pays who uses the facility. Businesses in the area, most of which are in Gonzales, would benefit from those who attended events with no additional tax burden.

Elected officials will continue to come to voters with new taxes as long as they think we will keep passing them. It's time to say no to more taxes, especially this one.

Cheryl Fontenot