The recent trend for government to ask for new taxes to be passed in perpetuity (forever) can be a danger to the basic democratic process. For example, the recent hotel tax that was approved by voters in Baton Rouge splits the new tax funds between Visit Baton Rouge VBR and the Raising Cane’s River Center. A hundred years from now, nobody will remember when this tax was approved or why it was approved, and the tax will still continue to be collected forever anyway. By removing the requirement to have a set time for a tax to be renewed or ended, the democratic process is basically eliminated, and the ability for citizens to decide if a tax is even needed in the future is eliminated.
In addition, in the specific case of the recent hotel tax, will the River Center actually need the hotel tax money forever into the future for improvements, and will Visit Baton Rouge use those tax funds for realistic projects forever? For example, can VBR give new raises to its employees in the future, with little or no input from the public? Hopefully, you can see the danger of passing taxes in perpetuity. It seems to lead toward a dictatorship form of government Perhaps the Louisiana Legislature needs to make existing and future taxes in perpetuity illegal, and stop the trend by government agencies like VBR of proposing new taxes in perpetuity.
retired telecommunications engineer
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