Please vote “no” on Rep. Barrow’s CATS bill, HB 865. I am against this bill because it limits the appointment of CATS board members to those nominated by the liberal organizations that receive funding from the government, such as SEIU, Together Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Chamber and many others. The taxpayers of the parish would be left out of the selection process and have no voice in mass transit, where their tax dollars are being spent. This reeks of taxation without representation.
And remember there is another major feature of the bill. CATS is both a government-owned bus company and the regulatory agency for private bus companies in EBR. This bill allows them to deny permits and licenses to private bus companies — their competitors such as First Transit, which won the contract for LSU. At present, if CATS denied a permit, the Metro Council can override CATS. But this bill allows CATS to deny a license to their competition, and neither the Metro Council nor anyone else can do anything about it. If you favor privatization, you have to strongly oppose this bill.
The CATS bill was voted for by the residents of Baton Rouge, not all of the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish. While it only passed by 1600 votes; most of whom will not be paying for this bill. Also, where do we stop – is public housing next. This will lower the economy of Baton Rouge because if you keep taxing those with means, they will move out of Baton Rouge.
As a voter and citizen of Baton Rouge, LA., I urge you to consider what is really fair and how to use our money wisely. Build something don’t just give it away. Please vote NO to Rep. Barrow’s CATS HB Bill #865. There should not be a tax that some pay for and others benefit.
Thank you for taking into consideration my view, as a voter and citizen of Baton Rouge, LA.