Parish Council to consider ‘rolling up’ property taxes

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

The Iberville Parish Council next Tuesday will consider a proposal to “roll up” local property taxes by more than five mills to produce an estimated $700,000 more for seven government agencies.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposals at 6 p.m. and consider adopting them at its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. It would take a two-thirds vote of the 13 members to approve levying the additional taxes, previously approved by voters.

Under Louisiana law, public bodies are required to roll back property tax millages every year to avoid collecting any increase they normally would have gotten from appreciating property values. They can; however, by the two-thirds vote roll the millages back up to take advantage of additional revenues.

Parish Finance Director Randall W. Dunn said he proposed rolling the millages back up to make up for losses in interest earnings parish government units have lost because of the downturn in the economy and in the banking industry.

“We’re looking at falling interest revenue,” Dunn said, noting a $500,000 decline in interest earnings last year. “It’s almost like losing a tax.”

The proposal the Parish Council will consider would roll up millages for these agencies for public building maintenance and parish drainage, administered by the council, as well as for the Iberville Parks and Recreation District, the Iberville Public Libraries, Fire District No. 1, Fire District No. 2 and Water District No. 4.

The increases would amount to some 5.45 mills and produce the additional $700,000 or so for those agencies.

“I believe it’s justified,” Dunn said. “Whether or not the council does, we’ll see.”

Last year, the council rejected a recommendation to roll up the millages.