Kenner street panel

A city of Kenner crew works to replace a street panel at the corner of Vintage Drive and Monte Carlo Drive. (via City of Kenner)

Kenner voters will decide Saturday whether to renew a property tax adopted in 2003 that generates $2.8 million each year for maintenance and repairs to the city's streets.

If it passes, the 10-year renewal would go into effect in 2018, and the tax rate would remain the same: 5.59 mills.

The tax costs the owner of a $250,000 home $93.50 a year, city officials said.

Kenner officials said the tax is essential because it pays for more than half of the cost of repairs and maintenance done to roads throughout the city as well as repaying Jefferson Parish for the cost of building major streets.

Common problems on Kenner streets that the money helps fix are cracking and buckling, often the result of soil subsidence.

Mayor Ben Zahn's administration is exploring the possibility of using some of the money generated by the millage to add an extra concrete crew in the city's Public Works Department, which would make it possible for the city to handle more projects in-house rather than hiring contractors.

The administration pledged to provide plenty of information to residents about what projects the tax will fund, adding that every party of the city will see the benefits of that work.

When voters first approved the streets tax 14 years ago, officials collected it at a rate of 10.35 mills.

However, thanks to higher property values in Kenner, 5.59 mills now generates the same amount that 10.35 mills did then, so city officials lowered the rate "to collect only the amount authorized by voters in 2003," Zahn's administration said.

The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the Kenner Business Association have endorsed the renewal, officials said.

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

(504) 636-7433