Hammett: No water tax expected

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – Rumors of a tax on water usage in Louisiana have been greatly exaggerated, state Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday, said earlier this week.

Sen. James David Cain, D-Dry Creek, has been speaking to groups throughout the state to garner support for issuing permits to major water users. The purpose would be to keep better track of water usage in a state where some aquifers are in danger of running dry, not to tax users, Hammett said.

&uot;But that proposal is a long way from being any sort of policy,&uot; Hammett said. &uot;It would take a good three or four years to come up with a water policy for the state.&uot;

In a meeting held last week with farmers in Opelousas, Bob Odom, commissioner of agricultural and forestry, vowed to actively oppose any tax proposal on water usage.

He told farmers that there has been discussion about the possibility of a tax proposal in this year’s legislative session.

&uot;I will not stand idly by while a tax is being discussed on that commodity,&uot;&160;Odom said. &uot;My farmers are struggling to make ends meet as it is.&uot;