DONALDSONVILLE — The Ascension Parish School Board will ask voters parishwide to renew a proposed 10-year, 2.5-mill property tax on the Nov. 19 general election ballot.
The renewal, if voters approve, is expected to generate about $2 million per year for building and facility maintenance throughout the school district, business services Director Diane Allison said.
Funds generated from the tax have historically gone into the operations and maintenance budget, Allison said, which pays for repairs, supplies, utilities and other upkeep to buildings and property.
The tax represents about 10 percent of the overall maintenance budget of $21.6 million, Allison said, and “it would be devastating to lose it.”
The board voted in August to put the tax renewal on the Nov. 19 ballot, at which time Superintendent Patrice Pujol agreed with Allison.
“At a point when we are looking at a deficit in our budget, it’s important to have every piece in place,” Pujol said at the time.
The projected budget gap is shrinking, down to $7.4 million from an initial $9.7 million, in large part due to belt-tightening within departments, Allison said.
“We’ve been very conscious of cutting costs, and our expenditures are below budget by 8 percent,” Allison said, for July, August and September, the first three months of the 2011-12 fiscal year.
The system’s total budgeted expenditures are $185.3 million.
In its report recommending reaccreditation for the system, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools site review committee commended the board on its fiscal stewardship, Allison added.
This November’s 2.5-mill proposition marks the board’s first attempt to renew the tax, which would otherwise expire in December 2012, according to budget documents provided by the system.
This tax renewal will cost homeowners with a residence valued at $200,000 approximately $31.25 per year with the state’s $75,000 homestead exemption factored in, Parish Assessor Rene Michel said.