CLINTON — East Feliciana Parish has the lowest property tax rate in Louisiana, a fact that shows up in the parish’s annual budget.
The Police Jury expects to collect more than four times the amount of sale tax revenue next year as it receives in property taxes, $3.3 million to $762,700, according to the proposed 2016 budget.
The jury will hold a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15 on its 2016 budget, and jurors are expected to adopt the roughly unchanged spending plan at its 6 p.m. meeting.
Wrapping up a Nov. 17 Finance Committee meeting called to go over the budget, Chairman Larry Beauchamp noted that other parish governments are approving budgets of tens of millions of dollars, while East Feliciana’s new budget calls for spending only about $6.1 million.
Those include maintaining parish roads, operating the parish health unit, collecting garbage, overseeing building permits and inspections, maintaining the parish jail and supporting the judicial system, District Attorney’s Office, registrar of voters, clerk of court, Council on Aging, local parks and Police Jury administration.
The Police Jury expects to spend about $1.6 million for garbage collection service next year, with nearly $1.5 million coming from a dedicated penny sales tax. The parish does not charge monthly fees for garbage collections.
The parish’s road and bridge fund, which receives money from two separate sales taxes, anticipates expenses of $1.6 million in 2016, but no overlay projects are planned in the coming months.
The parish health unit will receive about $394,850 from a property tax and about $30,000 in state revenue sharing, which are payments made to offset some of the loss of property tax revenue from homestead exemption.
In 2005, voters approved a proposition allowing the jury to use a portion of the health unit fund for general fund expenses after all health unit needs are met, and this year’s budget includes a $250,000 transfer to the general fund.
The general fund, the jury’s largest, expects revenue and expenditures of $2.3 million, with total revenue from property, sales and franchise taxes estimated at $918,000.
The jury also receives revenue from property rentals, state revenue sharing, occupational licenses, alcoholic beverage licenses, severance taxes and oil and gas royalties.
The largest single expenditure proposed in the general fund budget is $300,000 for operating the parish jail.