Parish Council rolls millages up for 2011

Deidre Cruse

The Iberville Parish Council last week voted unanimously to roll five millages up by a total of 3.08 mills to capture an additional $123,603, or a total of $1.79 million in property taxes.

No Iberville taxpayer, however, will pay the full 3.08 mills. The tax rate will depend on where a property is located.

Parish Finance Director Randall W. Dunn said if the council did not roll the millages forward, the millages would be permanently fixed at the rollback rate after the four-year assessment of all property parishwide next year.

“If you don't roll forward, you can never go back to the full millage,” he advised.

Last year, the council approved a roll-up of three other millages  – for public building maintenance, parishwide drainage and library maintenance – which added 1.34 mills to the parishwide tax bill. Those increases continue this year, Dunn said.

The Louisiana Constitution requires for millages to be rolled back each to prevent a public body from gaining revenue from increased property tax assessments. A public body, however, can vote to roll the millage back to the level voters approved at the polls, but it takes a two-thirds vote.

John Marque, president of the Iberville Firefighters Association, urged the council to roll the millages forward for Fire Districts #1 and #2 to help the volunteer fire departments buy and maintain equipment for expanding populations.

A spokesman for Water District #4 also requested the increased millage.

The Parish Council rolled the general alimony tax levied in unincorporated areas of the parish up from 2.14 to 2.49 mills, a 0.35 increase; the general alimony tax levied in incorporated municipalities up from 1.09 to 1.24 mills, a 0.15 increase; the tax for Fire District #2 up from 6.05 to 6.78 mills, a 0.73 increase; the tax for Fire District #1 up from 3.24 to 3.95 mills, a 0.71 increase, and the tax for Water District #4 from 9.93 to 11.07 mills, a 1.14 increase.

Providing examples of how the increases would affect homeowners, Dunn said the owners of homes valued at $75,000 or less would see no increase.

The owner of a $150,000 house in an area served by Fire District #2 and Water District #4 would pay 2.37 mills more than last year, a $17.78 increase.

The owner of a $150,000 house in Plaquemine, White Castle, Bayou Sorrel or Bayou Pigeon would pay half a mill more or an additional $3.75 a year.

The owner of a $150,000 house in St. Gabriel served by Fire District #2 would pay an additional 1.21 mills, or $9.08 more a year.

In other action, the council:

– Authorized Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr. to hire Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Inc. to do the engineering for a channel and drain restoration project for the Town of White Castle.

– Authorized an application to the Delta Regional Authority for a community center for the Bayou Goula and Dorseyville area, as requested by Councilman Henry J. “Bucket” Scott.

– Reappointed George Guidry Jr. of Plaquemine and Eugene LeBlanc of St. Gabriel tot he Iberville Parish Library Board of Control.