The Zachary City Council at its June 9 meeting scheduled a public hearing and special meeting for July 15 to consider of two ordinances concerning the city’s 3.17 millage rate.
The last time Zachary’s millage rate changed was in 2000, when officials rolled back the rate from 3.29.
The city has the authority to raise the rate to 5.79 mills before it must go to a vote of the people, City Attorney John Hopewell said.
At a maximum, residents would have to pay about $50 more on their property taxes annually, he said.
“You’re looking at 2017 before any tax is collected from this,” said Mayor David Amrhein. “Most won’t even notice since it’s not a big impact.” The special meeting was set for 6:30 p.m. July 15.
In other council matters, Chief Financial Officer Steve Nunnery said that the $1.5 million in road sales-tax funds Zachary receives annually from East Baton Rouge Parish’s half-cent sales tax must be spent on specific projects or saved but designated for others.
“By law, 3 percent of every dollar spent in the parish must be spent on beautification efforts. We don’t have any way around that, and as much as we’d like to spend the money on something else, we have no choice in the matter,” said Nunnery. “The remaining funding must go 70 percent to new roads and 27 percent to road rehabilitation and repair.” The beautification efforts Nunnery referred to are the medians on La. 64/Church Street.
Amrhein said La. 64 is the most traveled thoroughfare in Zachary.
“There won’t just be the new medians, which are actually stamped concrete. There is landscaping still to be done that’ll fill in every section between the concrete on the medians,” said Amrhein. “We’ll continue making this road the best it can be. We wanted this to be the main street that people see and that leaves great first impressions.”
Money not spent on beautification efforts must be earmarked for next year, showing parish officials exactly what the money has been designated for, Nunnery explained.