Is recreation about quality of life? Or is it just another tax burden?
Livingston Parish will know that answer in less than a week when voters decide on tax proposals in two recreation districts as part of the Dec. 8 ballot.
The 10-mill proposal in District 5-South and 15-mill proposition for District 7 come as the result of the division of District 5 in 2016.
The split came to a district that primarily covered the Town of Livingston and the north side of Interstate 12, along with the communities of Satsuma and Colyell on the south end of I-12.
The split allowed the two areas to stake out their own direction on what they want for recreation. It also created a quandary because both needed their own millages to survive.
One millage for the entire district and another solely for the Town of Livingston both failed at the polls in 2017.
This year, both districts hope and pray for a different outcome. Both districts have used mail-outs and other forms of outreach to seek support in a parish where no tax is sacred.
Health units, fire districts and other recreation funding proposals have fallen victim over the years, so both districts will likely have their work cut out for them.
For District 7, the proposal would fund maintenance and work toward a broader scope of activities besides baseball from the anticipated $230,000 annual intake.
In District 5-South, the anticipated $130,000 per year would go largely to maintenance, with gradual improvements along the way.
Voters must weigh if they want adjacent access to recreational activities, or if they would prefer to drive other parts of Livingston Parish -- or to adjacent parishes -- to enjoy what many other communities take for granted.
Recreation is indeed a “quality of life” offering that enhances a community.
It’s now up to the residents of the two districts to determine if it’s worth the extra money, something we will see shortly.