Sales tax increase pays off for Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 23, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – A 3/4-c’ent sales tax increase Ferriday voters passed one year ago has brought in almost $300,000 so far, according to Town of Ferriday figures.

And Mayor Glen McGlothin wants to thank those voters for their help.

Even with the tax, the town posted a $121,508 operating loss for the fiscal year that ended June 30, largely due to the theft of about $70,000 by two former clerks during that year.

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&uot;But without that tax, we would have been in a lot worse shape. It’s a shame, but it’s true,&uot;&160;said McGlothin, a former two-term mayor who was sworn in again as mayor July 1.

The tax election was held on Oct. 23, 1999.

In all, 434 voters, or 57.56 percent, cast their ballots for the tax, while 320 people, or 42.44 percent, voted against it.

Before the increase, Ferriday’s sales tax rate was 9 percent, which brought more than $800,000 into the town’s general fund each year.

At the time of the election, it was estimated that the tax increase would bring an extra $315,000 a year into the town’s general fund.

But the tax, which just took effect on Jan. 1, actually brings in $30,000 a month, or $360,000 a year, according to figures town accountant has presented to the Town Council — and it’s a good thing,&160;McGlothin said.

&uot;We’ve lost a lot of money from things like broken water meters, so we’re lucky we got that money from the tax,&uot; he said. &uot;The voters need to be commended for passing it.&uot;

The tax goes to the town’s general fund to be used for a variety of purposes, from paying the town’s bills and notes to operating its various departments. The Louisiana Legislature passed a bill in spring 1999 to allow towns in Concordia and Tensas parishes to levy up to 1 cent in extra sales taxes. In their testimony to legislators, Ferriday officials, including then-Mayor Odeal Montgomery and some council members, said the tax would be used for the police and fire departments for such things as equipment upgrades and training. But the tax proposition the commission passed said the money could be used for any lawful purpose,&160;according to commission officials.