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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Lafourche has third highest watercraft millage rate among the coastal parishes

Lafourche has third highest watercraft millage rate among the coastal parishes

On Tuesday evening, the North Lafourche Levee District (NLLD) held a meeting where Parish Assessor, Wendy Thibodeaux, presented on the massive millage rates in Lafourche Parish.

“Lafourche is 20% higher than Terrebonne Parish, which is right next door. Lafourche’s rate is 131.93 mills and Terrebonne’s is 105.91 mills,” says Thibodeaux.

The effects of the millage are that watercrafts are choosing to dock in surrounding parishes with a cheaper millage rate. With the downturn of the oil field, boat owners are looking to hold onto every penny possible.

Why is this bad for Lafourche? In 2014, the parish made over $52 million in taxes from the docking of these watercrafts. Therefore if the boats leave the parish, it will lose out on millions of dollars which could go to greatly benefitting Lafourche.

Currently, Thibodeaux is looking to get a balance for the parish. Thibodeaux states that the way to achieve this is to levee the amount of money needed for the improvements, not levee for more and put the extra in surplus.

Thibodeaux used an analogy of buying a fire truck. “If the parish needs a new fire truck, I am not saying don’t buy one. What I am saying is if the truck costs $200,000, don’t levee $500,000 and put the rest in surplus.”

Thibodeaux is presently going to every district to make sure that knowledgeable decisions are being made about the tax dollars. The assessor showed the NLLD members how to calculate millage rates by taking the district’s budget and dividing it by the prior year’s taxable value. By doing this, the parish will reestablish trust, incentive, investment, and balance to the community.