St. Charles Parish voters will decide April 29 whether to renew a pair of property taxes that provide tens of millions of dollars a year for the parish School Board.

The taxes are "vital to the daily operations of the school system," school officials said in a message mailed out to residents.

One millage is the largest source of revenue for the school system's general fund operations.

The other, a construction fund millage, is the only revenue source dedicated to the repair and upkeep of buildings. It also pays for the salaries and benefits of maintenance employees.

The millage for the system's general fund represents 37.4 percent of the general fund revenue and pays the salaries and benefits of 714 teachers, according to the School Board.

If voters opt to renew the tax, the millage would increase by .21 mills, from the previous rate of 42.97 mills to 43.18 mills. The tax would generate an estimated $53.3 million annually, for 10 years.

The millage for construction and maintenance of school buildings would increase by .02 mills, from 4.90 to 4.92 mills. It would generate an estimated $6 million a year.

"The upcoming millage renewal election is crucial in continuing to provide a high-quality education for our students and the preservation of our school system," Superintendent Felecia Gomez-Walker said in a statement.

School Board officials have underscored that both taxes would be renewals.  

They said the millage rate adjustments were the result of reappraisal, or the process of revaluing all property in the parish subject to taxation. The slight increases in millage rates will offset a reduction in the overall assessed value of property.

Last year, the board voted to decrease its bond millage, which provides money to repay its debt, in order to keep the tax the same for residents.

The millages have been in place for 20 years and must be renewed by voters every 10 years. The renewals would go into effect next year and would extend through 2027.

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