Eight St. Tammany Parish fire districts and two recreation districts are considering “rolling forward” their millage rates to gain a boost in revenue from a reassessment in property values this year, according to parish Assessor Louis Fitzmorris, and public hearings on those rates will be held this month and next.
Fitzmorris released a schedule of the meetings and urged people to take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions.
“If millage rates are rolled up, your taxes will increase,” Fitzmorris said in a prepared statement. “Please attend these hearings and meetings. This is your chance to voice your opinion about millage rates and the taxes you pay.”
Tax bodies will already receive more revenue than in the past because $35 million in property has been added to the tax rolls in the past three and a half years, Fitzmorris said.
Mandeville, Covington and the St. Tammany Parish School Board have notified the assessor they will not seek to roll their millages forward, Fitzmorris said, and the Assessor’s Office also is not rolling forward.
Although the assessor said in a news release that parish government is considering rolling its millage forward, spokesman Ronnie Simpson said the parish is not going to do so.
The assessor said he has not yet heard from every entity that receives a millage.
When overall property values increase, taxing bodies are required to “roll back” their millage rates to offset that increase and keep the total amount of money they receive the same as in the previous year. But unless the millage was imposed solely to pay off bonds, the taxing body can choose — with a two-thirds majority vote — to roll it forward again to take advantage of the increased assessments, although it cannot exceed the maximum rate approved by voters.
Unelected boards, such as those that govern fire and recreation districts, are required to hold their hearings at the Parish Council chambers on Koop Drive on a schedule set by the parish government and the assessor.
The Assessor’s Office is required to keep a list of all the meetings on its website, www.stpao.org, spokeswoman Sheri Campbell said.
Eight fire districts and two recreation districts are planning to roll their millages forward. If all of them do so, that will mean a total increase in taxes of nearly $1.8 million, Fitzmorris said.
The schedule is:
Fire District 1: hearing, Monday, 6 p.m.; board vote, July 28, 6 p.m.
Fire District 2: hearing, July 18, 8 p.m.; vote, 8:30 p.m.
Fire District 3: hearing, Monday, 6:45 p.m.; vote, July 27, 6:45 p.m.
Fire District 4: hearing, Tuesday, 6 p.m.; vote, 6:30 p.m.
Fire District 5: hearing, July 18, 6 p.m.; vote, 6:30 p.m.
Fire District 6: hearing, July 18, 7 p.m.; vote, 7:30 p.m.
Fire District 9: hearing, July 22, 7 p.m.; vote, 7:30 p.m.
Fire District 12: hearing, July 28, 6:45 p.m.; vote, 7:15 p.m.
Recreation District 4: hearing, July 27, 6 p.m.; vote, 6:30 p.m.
Recreation District 11: hearing, July 19, 7 p.m.; vote, 7:30 p.m.
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