A measure aimed at slightly boosting Harahan’s property tax revenue next year failed to win the City Council’s approval Thursday, which means the city’s tax collections will remain essentially flat.
The city’s administration wanted to bring in about $13,740 more next year by keeping the tax rate the same, with the extra money coming from increases in property values. But that move, which required the support of two-thirds of the council, failed. The vote was 3-2 in favor, short of the required supermajority.
Local governments must adjust their tax rates every year so that they will continue to collect the same amount in taxes as in the previous year, despite any changes in the assessments that dictate the amount individual property owners pay. However, governments can then vote to keep the tax rate the same and therefore collect additional money, a process known as “rolling forward” the tax rate.
In Harahan, the adjusted tax rate for the coming year will be 13.87 mills. The current rate, which would have remained in place had the “roll forward” measure succeeded, is 14.04 mills.
Council members Dana Huete and Tim Baudier, who are both running for re-election in November, voted against the proposal. Councilman Eric Chatelain, who is running for mayor, voted for it. So did Cindy Murray and Lawrence Landry, both of whom are barred from seeking another four years on the council by term limits.
Rolling forward would have meant a homeowner with a homestead exemption on a property assessed at $150,000 would have paid $1,053 a year in property taxes — about $13 more than the same owner will pay under the adjusted rate.
The council will have to vote again to approve the lower, adjusted rate at a future meeting, Mayor Vinny Mosca said Friday.
“We have a very, very low tax rate in our city, and we’ll have to make do with what we have,” Mosca said. “We don’t stop our services, and we will continue to provide what services we can until we no longer can.”
Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.