St. Gabriel to gain percentage of 1¢ parish sales tax

Deidre Cruse

Reflecting its gain in population, the City of St. Gabriel would gain nearly two percent more of two one-cent parishwide sales taxes under ordinances introduced last week at the Iberville Parish Council.

The two taxes, one first passed in 1960 and the other in 2006, produced more than $22 million last year.

The sales taxes are distributed among the parish and six municipal governments according to population -- but the Iberville Parish Council is guaranteed at least a 50 percent share of the tax proceeds and the parish's six municipalities are guaranteed that their shares would not be cut.

That leaves about 2.5 percent of the tax up for redistribution after each U. S. Census.

St. Gabriel, the fastest growing area in the parish, would gain the most from the redistribution, but the City of Plaquemine and the Village of Rosedale would get a little more of the money.

Under the proposed ordinances, the Parish council's share would go from 52.4541 to 50.3034 percent of the tax; St. Gabriel, from 8.3903 to 10.3438 percent; Rosedale, from 2.5311 to 2.6041 percent, and Plaquemine, from 23.6507 to 23.7649 percent.

Their increases would be held in escrow until “the results of the 2010 Census become final,” according to the ordinance.

Grosse Tete will continue to get 2.2432 percent; Maringouin, 4.2253 percent, and White Castle 6.513 percent.

Another ordinance introduced last week would add $200,000 to this year's parish budget for capital improvements at the St. Gabriel Fire Station.

A public hearing on all three proposals is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17.

In other action, the Parish Council approved resolutions to:

-- Temporarily relocate voting precincts 1, 2 and 3 from the White Castle Community Center at 32711 Bowie Street to the White Castle High School Gym at 32695 Graham Street while the community center undergoes renovations. Renovations will start in June or July and last for five months or more, so the change will affect the fall elections.

– Authorize Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. to contract with Fusion Architecture of Plaquemine for the affordable rental housing program portion of the parish's Hurricane Gustav recovery program.

– Changed a $274,000 recovery program allocation for Grosse Tete to allow the village to purchase emergency generators. Grosse Tete had planned to use the funds for a drainage project, but did not have the $800,000 it would need to complete that work.