The Lafayette Parish School Board will meet this week to discuss facilities and an existing operation’s tax up for renewal.
In a special meeting set for 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, the board will get the ball rolling to place a property tax renewal on the fall ballot. The meeting, which will likely be short, is mainly procedural — with only one item on the agenda — to issue public notice that it will meet again Sept. 2 to consider a resolution that calls for an election. If approved, the tax renewal could be on the Nov. 21 ballot.
The 7.2-mill property tax is an existing tax that helps fund maintenance and operations in the school system, Superintendent Donald Aguillard said.
Earlier this month, the board voted to sell $10 million in bonds to buy new buses and begin plans for a new high school, as well as to make improvements on a few other campuses. The potential for a new tax has been discussed to help fund facility improvements due to aging and crowded campuses in a growing parish.
The 7.2-mill property tax is on the rolls and the meeting is simply to begin the process to call for an election to renew it, Aguillard said.
“We don’t want to confuse this with anything else that the board may be discussing for the future as far as a bond issue (for facilities),” Aguillard said. “This is a long-standing tax meant to address operational needs only.”
Immediately after the board meeting, the finance committee will discuss updating the facilities master plan that was created in 2010. Funding to update the plan isn’t in the budget and the committee plans to make a recommendation to the board about how to pay for it.
The committee also will consider a recommendation on expanding the sales tax department. The district has proposed adding six people at an estimated cost of $525,000 with half of the cost covered by the school system’s tax fund and the other half by the taxes collected on behalf of other entities in the parish.
Sales tax collections have increased from $152.9 million to nearly $261.3 million in the past 10 years, but the sales tax department hasn’t changed much in that same time period, the staff said in its request to the board. The information was included as part of the finance committee meeting agenda.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.