St. John the Baptist Parish residents will vote Saturday on a single ballot proposition: renewing a 1-mill property tax that pays for maintaining and operating three important parish buildings.
Renewing the millage would raise about $447,000 annually for 10 years, beginning next year. The money would go toward maintaining the Percy Hebert Building, which houses most parish government functions, and the Lt. Sherman Walker Correctional Facility, which are both in LaPlace, and the 40th Judicial District Court building in Edgard.
The millage costs the average homeowner with a $150,000 home and a homestead exemption about $7.50 per year.
In a brief video posted on St. John’s website, Parish President Natalie Robottom urged residents to pass the proposition.
She stressed that it is not a new tax. The millage has been in place for almost two decades, Robottom said.
“The renewal of this millage is critical if we are to continue to serve the people of St. John the Baptist Parish,” she said.
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said the money is crucial to be able to keep the parish’s aging infrastructure in good repair.
“We’ve done everything we could to maintain what we have,” he said. “I would ask that people continue to trust that we’re doing the best we can with what’s been given to us, and this renewal is a big part of helping us maintain what we have.”
If it were a new tax and not a renewal, Tregre said, he would be more concerned about the likely result at the polls. “People are not too enthused about paying a new tax, but this is a renewal, and people have a tendency to approve these measures when it’s a renewal,” he said. “I would hope that they would pass this one, too.”
The proposition is backed by the River Region Chamber of Commerce.
Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.