Parish Council rolls up property tax by 1.34 mills

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

The Iberville Parish Council last week agreed to roll up three of a potential nine property tax millages to voter-approved levels, adding 1.34 mills to this year's tax bill parishwide.

By a two-thirds vote, the council approved rolling up the taxes for public building maintenance, parishwide drainage and the library maintenance fund.

Some 30 members of the Iberville Parish Library staff, members of the Friends of the Iberville Public Libraries and other library patrons turned out to support Librarian Dannie Ball's plea to allow full collection of the library's four-mill tax, which 86 percent of voters approved.

Grosse Tete resident Alton Manola asked the council to reject rolling up all the taxes.

“I need every cent that I got,” he said.

According to Finance Director Randall W. Dunn, homeowners fully covered by the homestead exemption (homes valued at $75,000 or less) will pay no additional tax; owners of homes valued at $100,000 will pay $4.95 more; owners of homes valued at $150,000 will pay $14.85 more, and owners of homes valued at $200,000 will pay $24.75 more.

More than half the parish's 8,057 homesteads are fully covered by the homestead exemption, according to the latest report from Tax Assessor John R. “Randy” Sexton.

Property in Louisiana is reassessed every four years. The Louisiana Legislature requires public bodies to “roll back” millages to prevent increases in property taxes above the levels of the previous year, unless two-thirds of the public body votes to roll the millages forward to the levels voters approved.

After the reassessment in 2008, the Parish Council had rolled all the taxes it is responsible back.

Last week, voting on the taxes individually, the council voted:

– 9-4 to roll the public building maintenance tax up from 2.67 mills to the voter-approved 3.0 mills.

Voting for were Warren “T-Notchie” Taylor and Mitchel J. Ourso Sr., both of White Castle; Henry J. “Bucket” Scott Jr. of Bayou Goula; Edwin M. Reeves, Terry J. Bradford and Louis “Pete” Kelley Jr., all of Plaquemine; Timothy J. Vallet of Rosedale; Matthew H. Jewell of Maringouin, and Wayne M. Roy of St. Gabriel. Voting against were Leonard “Buck” Jackson of St. Gabriel, and Salaris Butler, Howard Oubre Jr. and Eugene P. Stevens Jr., all of Plaquemine.

– 9-4 to roll the parishwide drainage tax forward from 4.44 mills t0 5.0 mills.

Voting for were Taylor, Ourso, Scott, Reeves, Bradford, Kelley, Vallet, Roy and Jewell. Against were Jackson, Butler, Oubre and Stevens.

– 10-1 to roll the library maintenance fund tax forward from 3.55 mills to 4.0 mills.

Butler cast the sole vote against the proposition. Reeves said he supported the roll-forward, but abstained from voting wife works for the library. Jewell, the council chairman, did not vote.

– 2-10 against rolling up the general alimony tax imposed in unincorporated areas from 2.18 to 2.49 mills.

– 2-10 against rolling up the general alimony tax imposed in municipalities up from 1.09 to 1.24 mills.

– 5-8 against rolling up the millage for the Iberville Parks and Recreation District from 2.67 to 3.0 mills.

– 6-6 against rolling up the millage for Fire District No. 2 from 6.05 to 6.78 mills.

– 6-6 against rolling up the millage for Fire District No. 1 from 3.24 to 3.95 mills.

– 3-9 against rolling up the millage for Water District No. 4 from 9.93 to 11.07 mills.

Councilmen Taylor and Scott were the only council members to vote to roll up all the taxes. Councilman Butler was the only one to cast all “no” votes.