The Lafayette Parish School Board called a special meeting Wednesday to satisfy a state law that requires it to properly give notice of when it will begin levying a tax.
Voters approved the renewal of the existing 16.7-mill property tax in 2012 — ahead of its 2014 expiration — and it’s now time to begin levying it, said Billy Guidry, the school system’s chief financial officer.
“There’s a law that became effective August of 2013 that indicates that when you have the levying of a new millage or a renewal millage, you have to provide notification to the public at a meeting 30 days prior to when the tax is levied,” Guidry said.
Wednesday’s meeting was procedural and the board gave notice that it would meet Oct. 26 to officially approve the levying of the tax.
The property tax generates about $30 million annually for school system operations.
The group, Geaux Free TPL (formerly known as the TEA Party of Lafayette), sent out an email hours before the meeting erroneously warning that the School Board was preparing to levy a new tax and encouraging people to attend the meeting.
That’s not the case, according to information provided by Guidry.
“It’s been on the books for a very long time,” Guidry said in a prior interview. “It’s just because of that statute that went into effect in 2013 that we’re having this meeting and this is our first levy of the tax that was renewed back in 2012.”
There have been discussions among board members and staff about the need for a new tax, and such a proposal could come to the board at its Oct. 7 meeting. However, discussions of any new tax have centered on ways to build revenue for construction and repairs of the school system’s facilities.
Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter, @Marsha_Sills.