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Hey Louisiana...

As Dwight Hudson goes around the relatively affluent and decidedly conservative Metro Council district he was elected last year to represent, the constituent feedback he hears is mostly negative regarding Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s proposed 5-mill property tax to fund road, sidewalk and traffic control projects.

Make no mistake: The rapidly growing District 9 in the extreme southeast corner of East Baton Rouge Parish is in need of infrastructure improvements, especially when it comes to relieving nightmarish surface street traffic. But residents here routinely tell Hudson they’re already paying too much in taxes, and, frankly, they simply don’t trust government with any more of their money.

There’s also another thing Hudson hears a lot from those he represents, as they lament their tax burden and what they’re getting—or not—for their money. It’s this idea that they’d be better off in nearby Texas, a state to which Louisiana invariably compares itself and with which it tries, often unsuccessfully, to compete.

“The perception is that you do better in Texas,” Hudson says. “I hear it a lot. People believe they pay too much here and that Texas is doing better with what they’ve got.”

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