[StBernard] Attorney General Opinion

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Fri May 20 07:49:09 EDT 2011

Interesting. In St. Bernard Parish, if not mistaken, I think we voted for a ½ cent sales tax for sanitation collection --- BUT, I could be wrong, it could be a combination of property tax and sales tax and the ½ cent sales tax I’m thinking of may be for the $50 Million bond to replace the water or sewerage treatment plant?? Anyway, there is some form of tax now towards these expenses, although it probably doesn’t cover all trash collection expenses. With the per household expense fully paid by each household or through another tax, the community would still have the cost of the parish dumpsters, including those at “the dump”, which residents use for trash other than household garbage.
Why would the Parish President request such an opinion unless this is an issue? Difficult for the public to follow these days.

-----Original Message-----
If it were put to the voters like any sales tax referendum. The key here is the public must have a choice - whether that's by each household being able to accept or refuse the service (thus get their own) or collectively vote and decide by majority. We all too easily decide among people running for office, why not for this? I would consent to the Parish President and Council to agree on the best two contractors/proposals. Each offer can then be presented to the voters and they go to the polls to decide which one to go with. The referendum would be decided by the President and Council as to how payment is collected (sales tax/property tax/water bill, etc.).

Of course the best course of action would be to let each household hire their own service. From what I've learned, it works very well in St.
Tammany. There's a decal that goes on the can and the driver knows which house is their customer. Now that is what you call competition - and will breed lower fees and better service. Because if you become dissatisfied say with SDT, you can switch to Coastal or Waste Management.

The only exception to all this would be if only one waste contractor is interested in doing business in St. Bernard - but I seriously doubt that would be the case.

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