MESSAGE FROM THE PARISH PRESIDENT, OCTOBER 27, 2021
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Early voting for the November 13 election will begin this Saturday. Four constitutional amendments, four millage renewals for our public school system and a criminal justice sales tax proposition are among the items on the parish-wide ballot, in addition to a handful of local jurisdiction items.
If approved, the 0.4% sales tax will generate $22.2 million of Parish Government’s $30 million criminal justice obligation for our state mandated costs to fund the critical operations and facilities, including the Sheriff’s office, District Attorney’s office and the 22nd Judicial District Court, and will re-establish former revenue which was lost at the end of 2018 when the two 0.25% dedicated sales taxes expired. The Parish will fund the remaining costs from our General Fund.
Late last year, I made it a priority to establish an independent Revenue Review Advisory Committee, comprised of community and business leaders, who determined that nothing further could be cut from our budget without significantly impacting vital services. Furthermore, the Committee recommended seeking a sales tax, rather than a property tax, as it will be shared by visitors and non-visitors alike.
Simply put, this is an investment in our quality of life, our safety, and our security. St. Tammany is known for its well-functioning criminal justice system and, if approved, it will generate the funding to be dedicated solely to continue those operations.
After months of deliberation, we have gained support from the St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and the Bureau of Governmental Research. You can view their findings and endorsements by clicking each respective title.
To learn more about the proposition, watch this video or visit KeepStTammanySafe.org.
Early voting will take place from October 30 through November 6 (excluding Sunday, October 31) from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the St. Tammany Parish Government Complex on Koop Drive, the Towers Building in Slidell and the Registrar of Voters office located at 601 North Jefferson Avenue, Covington (first floor of the St. Tammany Justice Center Parking Garage).
Election day is Saturday, November 13, 2021 with the polls open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
I cannot stress enough how critically important this initiative is for our safety and serenity of our parish and I request your assistance in educating our neighbors, colleagues and all voters of St. Tammany in the days to come.
As always, if you have questions or I can be of assistance, do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you and stay safe!
Michael B. Cooper