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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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NLLD tax proposition to be on May 2 ballot

NLLD tax proposition to be on May 2 ballot

The North Lafourche Levee District (NLLD) Board of Commissioners approved a measure last week to place a quarter-cent sales tax dedicated to building critical levees and other priority flood protection projects on the May 2, 2015 ballot.

The sales tax is estimated to generate approximately $2.2 million per year for the District, which would be solely dedicated to construction of priority levee and flood protection projects in the District, from the northern end of the parish to the Intracoastal Waterway in Larose.

This local sales tax revenue would also be leveraged to attract more state and federal money for the local levee projects. The District’s only current funding source is an ad valorem tax that provides approximately $3.5 million per year.

The NLLD has developed a plan of priority levee, flood protection and drainage improvement projects that would benefit residents throughout the District and would achieve a higher level of protection for people and businesses of north and central Lafourche.

Revenue from the sales tax would allow the District to expedite completion of the projects in this plan and provide residents with additional levee and drainage projects more quickly than with current funding alone.

“We have been able to complete several projects very cost-effectively in recent years with the dollars we have available, but when we consider our risk in the event of a storm or hurricane, we know that more needs to be done. An additional funding source is needed to aggressively tackle this project list and build these critical levee projects as soon as possible. Additional funds will also provide the District with greater leveraging for state and federal dollars,” explains Executive Director Dwayne Bourgeois.

“After a thorough evaluation of our district, we have been able to determine the volume and amount of projects that need to be addressed relative to flood protection. Our current source of monetary resources does not adequately address those issues in a timely or sensible manner,” said NLLD President Cory Kief.

Even with a quarter-cent sales tax increase, total sales tax in north Lafourche and Thibodaux would remain lower here than in neighboring south Lafourche and Terrebonne Parish.

Established in 1992, the NLLD provides drainage and flood protection services for the northern portion of Lafourche Parish, including the entire parish north of the Intracoastal Canal. The District includes over 250 miles of levees and drainage canals, and over 40 pump stations.