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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Lafourche voters approve taxes

Lafourche voters approve taxes

In Saturday’s election, Lafourche Parish voters approved proposals to raise the sales tax for drainage and levee projects and redirect money for safety at parish schools.

With voter turnout light, (only 6.9 percent of the nearly 46,000 voters casting ballots on this proposal), those who did make it to the polls increased the sales tax by a quarter-cent for the North Lafourche Levee District. The vote was 1,734 (57 percent) in favor and 1,307 (43 percent) opposed.

Only voters within the District, which includes the northern end of the parish to the Intracoastal Waterway in Larose, voted on this measure.

Money from the sales tax will be used to expedite drainage and flood protection projects for parish residents within the District’s boundaries.

The tax is expected to raise an additional $2.2 million a year for the levee district, which now takes in about $3.5 million a year from property taxes.

The tax takes effect July 1 and will not expire.

Voters parishwide elected to rededicate 4 of 15.2 mills, or about $3.8 million, to pay off construction bonds, to increase safety measures in Lafourche Parish schools.

In this election 3,564 votes (only 6.3 percent turnout) were cast. The measure received 2,242 (63 percent) yes votes to 1,322 (37 percent) no votes.

A mill is $1 in tax levied on every $1,000 of taxable property. The measure will not increase taxes and will be renewable in 10 years.

The funds generated from this tax will be used to provide additional support to public elementary and secondary schools in the District, in particular to expand the District's comprehensive safety and security program for students and staff (including, but not limited to, creating single-point entry at schools, additional security cameras, alarm systems, capital improvements and School Resource Officers, and staff to address bullying/cyberbullying and student/related services).