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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Voters to decide on two tax proposals Saturday

Voters to decide on two tax proposals Saturday

Lafourche Parish voters only have two decisions to make in this Saturday’s election, and not all parish voters will make both.

Voters parishwide will decide on whether to rededicate 4 mils for Lafourche Parish Public Schools for a period of ten years.

Voters will decide if the School District should be authorized to levy and collect the special tax of four (4) mills (an estimated $3,200,000 expected to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2015 and ending with the year 2024.

The funds generated from the 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).

Only voters in the central and northern part of the parish will decide on a sales tax proposal for the North Lafourche Levee District (NLLD) to increase funding for important levee and flooding and drainage projects.

The sales tax is a quarter-cent tax that 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 within the District, which includes the northern end of the parish to the Intracoastal Waterway in Larose.

The proposed 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 district, which serves about 65,000 residents north of the Intracoastal Waterway, has identified $250 million worth of projects that would be cost-effective.

According to the District, money from the proposed sales tax will not be used for salaries, legal judgments or new buildings.

Voters, mostly in the northern part of the district, rejected the board’s last request for a new sales tax in 2012.

That proposed one-cent sales tax, which would have raised about $8 million a year, was defeated with 54 percent of voters against to 46 percent in favor. About 14 percent of the district’s voters cast ballots in that election.