School districts get $1.2 million from taxable property increase

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By Carolyn Roy, Carolyn@natchitochestimes.com

An increase in the value of assessed taxable property during 2020 has resulted in a financial Christmas present for the Natchitoches Parish School Board. Supervisor of Finance Lee Waskom was thrilled to deliver the good news to the school board Tuesday during a committee meeting that the increase will result in a total additional $1,244,274 for the general fund, four consolidated school districts, or the taxing districts, for several schools.

The general fund will receive $475,978 that will be used for salaries. Consolidated School District 7 will be the biggest beneficiary. Assessed taxable value in the northern part of the parish jumped $19 million, from $56 to $75 million. District 7 includes schools at Fairview Alpha, Lakeview and Goldonna.

Increases in the value of natural gas and utility infrastructure is the main reason for the jump in the northern part of the parish. Also contributing is an adjustment of the renewable tax by the State Constitution that affects all school districts; and voters in that district approved an additional millage earlier this year. District 7 has budgeted $368,639 but will get $909,000.

District 8, Provencal, budgeted $85,918 and will get $120,526. District 9, city schools, budgeted $1,366,380 and will get $1,520,889. District 10, Marthaville budgeted $802,538 and will get $840,635. Board member Eugean Garner, who represents District 7, elaborated on what the additional money will mean for the schools. It cannot be used for salaries but for maintenance projects such as repairs, plumbing, roofs and other items.

In his and Steven Harris’ districts, past money was used to buy an activity bus for Lakeview. He wants to use the additional money to finish jobs not covered in the recent bond issue that was passed for major maintenance and athletic fields.

At Fairview Alpha, there is a need for additional sidewalks. Lakeview needs a washer, dryer and dishwasher in the culinary arts department. The ball field also needs additional bleachers.

At Goldonna, there is a need to upgrade exterior doors, make roof repairs and change fencing.