Let the stumping begin

Divide parish into 4 voting districts

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Stumping has started to convince parish voters that by dividing the parish into four voting districts, over $100 million in 10 year bonds can be generated to repair the rural roads.

Other similar meetings will be throughout the parish if the Parish Council decides to move forward at the July 19 meeting. If approved, the proposition will be on the November 2017 election ballot.

These funds would be in addition to the normal schedule 40 tax revenues the council spends on the road system annually, District One Councilman, the Rev. Doug deGraffenried told the Walter Ledet Coffee Club Wednesday.

The interesting part of the plan is for each of the four road districts to stand alone. If only one district approves the tax, only that district would be taxed and the additional tax revenues would be spent in that district. The other districts would receive only the normal tax dollars.

The proposed tax approach is presently used in Evangeline Parish.

Proposed breakdown of the four taxing districts, estimated annual tax collection based on tax assessors property evaluation, and parish wards involved in the particular district:

The districts are devised mainly along ward lines.

  • District #1, $802,032
  • Dist. 1 would include Ward 1, excluding the City;
  • District #2, $1,043,125
  • Dist. 2 would include Wards 2, 3 and 4;
  • District #3, $813,933
  • Dist. 3 would include Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8;
  • District #4, $760,905
  • Dist. 4 would include Ward 9, excluding the City, and Ward 10.
  • deGraffenried explained the estimated annual collections can be bonded for a 10-year period, used as collateral and 10 times the amount can be borrowed at one time. This would be in addition to the proposed districts pro rata share of the council’s regular road moneys.

After the state $75,000 homestead exemption is applied, only 47 percent of the voters in the parish pay taxes. He said the other 53 percent that do not pay taxes are the ones that complain the loudest about the poor parish roads.

deGraffenried commented that if all proposed district taxes would be approved the council’s road department would really have their hands full trying to upgrade the parish roads.