St. Tammany Parish voters showed a fierce anti-tax sentiment Saturday, shooting down all but one of the tax propositions on the ballot, including two that were renewals.
Only one tax, a renewal for a fire protection district that serves rural areas north of Covington and subdivisions along the eastern side of U.S. 190 passed.
The two new taxes, on the ballot, which would total 8.9 mills to build and operate Camellia Park near Slidell, went down in flames. Those proposed millages had stirred the most controversy leading up to the vote, with anti-tax signs and flyers appearing in neighborhoods in Recreation District No. 16, which covers Wards 8 and 9 with the city of Slidell and the Eden Isles/Oak Harbor area carved out.
Proposition No. 1, a 4.75-mill tax to pay for a $14 million, 20-year bond issue to construct a large recreational facility modeled on Pelican Park in Mandeville. With 37 of 59 precincts reporting, lost by 69 percent to 31 percent in complete but unofficial returns.
Proposition No. 2, a 4.15-mill tax to generate $800,000 a year for operation costs, lost by an even larger margin, with 70 percent of voters saying no compared to 30.
Another recreation district property tax, this one a renewal for District 7, which covers the area north of Pearl River, also fell, by 58 percent of voters rejecting the tax compared to 42 who said yes.
The recreation district tax generates $140,000 a year that pays for maintenance and operation of a 70-acre facility and will help pay to build new fields.
The tax renewal sought for the Harbor Center, a 3-mill, 10-year property tax that generates $1.6 million per year, failed by 61 percent to 39 percent.
That tax is not due to expire until 2017. But the center’s directors sought the vote now to enable them to make financial plans eight years out.
Only one tax, a 5-mill, 20-year property tax renewal for Fire District No. 12, got the nod from the voters. It passed by 80 percent.
The fire district renewal generates $1.2 million a year and pays for personnel, equipment and improvement of fire stations.
Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter at @spagonesadvocat.