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Contentious tax proposal backed by Livingston Parish schools fails in weekend election

1 year 3 months 3 weeks ago Monday, March 27 2023 Mar 27, 2023 March 27, 2023 5:53 PM March 27, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

LIVINGSTON PARISH - A proposed 1% sales tax that would give parish school faculty a raise failed at the polls after the Mar. 25 election.

The proposed sales tax would have put a one-cent tax on every dollar spent in the parish, excluding groceries, gas, and prescriptions with the money going toward raises for teachers and school faculty. 

Dr. Tia Mills, the president of the Louisiana Association of Educators said she was shocked to hear the news.

"Without those funds, without that additional revenue, you're going to continue to see a continuing cycle of individuals leaving the profession," Mills said.

The proposed tax was certainly divisive—signs all around the parish urged voters to vote 'no' on the Mar. 25 ballot. In the end, the tax ultimately failed, as with 77 of 79 precincts reporting ~46% voted for and ~54% voted against. 

Mills says the fight for better does not end here.

"We're going to continue to fight on the state level for state wide raises. We have to continue to instill the message in locals across the state that its important for them to invest in our employees as well, because again, investing in our employees is investing in our children."

Updated results as compiled by the Louisiana Secretary of State's Office for Saturday's election can be found here.

Read the statement from school Superintendent Alan Joe Murphy below. 

Dear Livingston Parish Voters,
I know the past few months have been a difficult time for the people of Livingston Parish, as we have grappled with the issue of adding a 1-cent sales tax to some purchases in order to benefit our school teachers and staff.
The decision to place a 1-cent sales tax proposition on the ballot was made after much contemplation by school and community leaders who viewed this funding option as the best way to increase salaries in the Livingston Parish Public Schools System. The salary increases are needed to enable the district to hire and retain qualified personnel. Nonetheless, the voters of Livingston Parish did not support this proposed funding solution as presented on the March 25 ballot. We know that low pay for Livingston Parish Public School employees will continue to present challenges for our system, but that our leaders will do all they can to manage available funds to give our schools the resources and personnel they need to provide our children with a quality education. We know that the vast majority of our employees are dedicated professionals who will continue to put forth their very best effort, every day, to positively impact every child in their care.
It is my hope that our parish can heal from any division that may have occurred during this election, and that other options to improve the wages of our school professionals may present themselves in the near future.

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