CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury adopted ordinances Tuesday to continue collecting sales taxes for garbage collection and road and bridge work.
The taxes, totaling 2 percent on the dollar, would have expired Dec. 31, but voters in the Dec. 6 election narrowly approved renewing them for another 10 years.
“We need to thank the public. It was a close election, but they were all renewed,” jury President Lewis Kent said of the four tax proposals on the ballot.
The first proposition, for a three-fourths-cent sales tax for garbage collection service, passed by a vote of 3,542 to 3,010. The second, a one-fourth-cent sales tax also for garbage service, passed 3,485 to 3,036.
The third proposal, a 1-cent sales tax divided among the Police Jury and the parish’s five municipalities by a population formula for road and bridge work, was favored by 3,576 voters while 3,058 opposed it.
Slaughter Mayor Robert Jackson complained last month that the distribution formula is outdated and shortchanges his town, but jurors said it was too late to change the formula because it was included in the proposition already on the ballot.
They told Jackson the parish could consider changing the formula in a special election next year, but Parish Manager J.R. Rouchon said basing it on the 2010 federal census would result in four municipalities losing money to Slaughter and the Police Jury.
The population formula has been used for years and apparently was based on a decades-old state formula for rebating tobacco taxes to municipal governments.
Voters also renewed a 3-mill property tax for health unit funding, with 3,443 votes in favor and 3,162 against.
The Dec. 6 election was the jury’s last chance for renewing the two sales taxes. In addition to those sales taxes, the jury also levies another 1-cent sales tax for general operations.
In other action, the jury reappointed Charlie Minor and Judy Brown to seats on the Gas Utility District 2 board of commissioners and Joe Howell to the Water District 7 governing board.
Jurors also agreed to advertise a vacancy on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Member J. Curtis Jelks resigned after winning a seat on the East Feliciana Parish School Board.
Kent said he will try to recruit someone from the area in which Jelks lives to serve on the commission.