Livingston Parish voters pass $5 million school project property tax with 5% turnout | latest news

A property tax in force since the 1950s has been renewed for 10 years.

Despite a 5.8% turnout, voters in Livingston Parish approved the renewal of a $5 million property tax that funds construction projects in the Livingston Parish school system, according to results not officials of the Secretary of State.

The parish-wide item alone in the March 26 poll, about 3,878 people voted in favor of the levy, or about 77 percent. There were 1,148 people who voted against, or 22%.

Just under 1,800 people took advantage of the early voting period which ran from March 12-19. About 554 voters cast their ballots at one of the parish’s two early polling stations, while another 1,222 requested an absentee ballot.

The total turnout of 5,026 was among approximately 86,000 registered voters in Livingston Parish.

Although turnout was low, passing the property tax was a big win for the Livingston Parish school system, which uses the $3.1 million raised from the tax to fund development projects. parish-wide construction, renovations and improvements. .

“Thank you for your vote in favor of the 10-year renewal of the 5 Mill School Facility Fund,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said in a letter posted on the school system’s website. “Your vote of support enables Livingston Parish Public Schools to continue to renovate, maintain and expand our facilities and provide the level of service that our communities expect.”

“Livingston Parish is experiencing unprecedented growth and our schools must continue to grow with our communities. Over the years, our school system has always benefited from the unwavering support of those we serve. Rest assured that Livingston Parish Public Schools has always been and always will be grateful for the support of our Livingston Parish family, and we look forward to strengthening this relationship in the future.

The electors of the parish created the dedicated funding source in 1952 and have renewed it every 10 years since. Passing the levy will allow the funding to stay in place until 2032.

The funding renewal is not a new tax, and its approval will not increase the mileage rate taxpayers pay each year, Murphy told The News in a podcast in March.

Murphy noted that Louisiana is one of 11 states in which the state provides no funding for school facilities, which means all the money for renovations and improvements comes from within.

The ad valorem tax is the only source of funding dedicated to such projects, making it “essential” for the Livingston Parish school system.

Unlike other property taxes, Murphy said this mileage “applies to all schools in our district” and funds are not concentrated in one area.

“It is a vital source of school funding that has allowed the district to maintain its many facilities over the years,” Murphy said in the podcast. “Hundreds of projects, large and small, are managed with these funds.”

Penny D. Jackson