Council tables sales tax measure

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 28, 2010



LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish Council agreed to table a measure to reduce the compensation paid to business owners who collect and file their sales taxes on time because the sponsor wanted more time to determine what other taxing bodies wanted to do.

The ordinance, proposed by Councilman Ronnie Smith, requires that the parish decrease the amount of compensation to business owners from 2 percent of the total taxes collected to 1 percent. He said the move could save the parish money that would go toward helping the parish school system escape their current budget crunch.

“I just need more time to speak with (School Board President) Dr. Courtney Millet about this,” Smith said after the meeting. “One way or another, I still want to move forward with this.”

Parish President Natalie Robottom’s administration indicated its opposition to the proposal since it would take away revenue from parish businesses. She said the decrease could end up resulting on a loss of jobs in the parish.

In other action Tuesday, the council approved a trio of agreements between the parish and Entergy for the staging of equipment on parish land in the event of an emergency.

The agreements allow Entergy officials to use the St. John Community Center and the neighboring Highway 51 Library, both in LaPlace, as well as Regala Park in Reserve, as staging areas for trucks and equipment.

Robottom said the locations were strategic areas in the parish that allow Entergy crews to mobilize quickly in the event of a massive power outage in the parish during a tropical storm or hurricane.

The council also approved a resolution in support of a special use permit for a truck stop on Airline Highway at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 54 in Garyville. Planning and Zoning Director Mike Henderson said the truck stop, which would include video poker facilities, has garnered the approval of the Parish Planning and Zoning Board.