By Jim Wilkerson
In October 2020, the Lincoln Parish local sales tax increased from 5.5 percent to 6 percent. This occurred after Parish citizens voted in August 2020 to increase the School Board tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent. As a result, total sales tax revenues for the board went up significantly.
To illustrate, the sales tax revenue for July 2021 ($2,422,742.60) was 39.3 percent higher than the sales tax revenue for July 2020 ($1,739,181.89). When comparing the new sales tax revenue to the performance equivalent (PE) of the old sales tax – meaning what the tax revenue likely would have been had the sales tax not increased – the new sales tax outperformed the old one by over $350,000 per month.
The 2020 sales tax has been in place for ten months now, and total revenues from the tax equate to approximately $3.8 million. This is roughly on track with the projected $4.6 million the School Board estimated it would receive annually from the tax.
According to KNOE News, the expressed reason by Board President Joe Mitcham for putting the tax increase on the ballot in the first place was that teachers were leaving Lincoln Parish to go to other districts that pay more. Therefore, the board needed to increase its financial capacity to give its teachers’ pay raises.
It should be noted that a significant portion (roughly 82 percent) of the School Board’s total operating expenditures went toward teachers’ salaries and employee benefits in 2020.
When the tax was put on the ballot in August of last year, just over 4,400 citizens (approximately 12 percent of the adult population in Lincoln Parish) showed up to vote. Of those citizens, 53 percent voted for, and 47 percent against, the tax increase.
The Consolidated Sales Tax Report for Period Ended: July 31, 2021, here:
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