Voters in East Baton Rouge and area parishes to decide Saturday on tax propositions, a run-off race _lowres


Voters across the East Baton Rouge Parish metro area will head to the polls Saturday, considering a slew of property tax proposals that support local governments and schools.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, voters protected by the St. George Fire District will consider whether to renew one of the department’s existing 1.25-mill property taxes and give it an increase of 2 mills. Both of the measures would last for a decade.

St. George Fire Chief Gerard Tarleton said he hopes voters approve the increase, which he wants to use to build new stations, hire additional firefighters, improve the water system and buy new equipment.

Four taxes are up for 10-year renewals in Livingston Parish. Three of the taxes — for the Health Unit, a recreation district and a fire protection district — failed at the polls last year. The final ballot item comes from the School Board, which is seeking a renewal to fund building maintenance.

All Livingston Parish voters will have a chance to weigh in on the Health Unit tax. Voters rejected a 5-mill levy last year after it was revealed the property tax would raise three times more than advertised on the ballot. Parish leaders have since lowered the rate, and voters on Saturday are being asked whether the Health Unit should collect a 2.5 millage.

The School Board also is seeking to re-up its 7-mill property tax. School leaders say the tax funds most of the system’s maintenance costs.

Recreation District 2, which covers the Watson area, is asking for a renewal of its 15-mill property tax, which funds the Live Oak Sports complex.

Voters in Fire Protection District 10, in the Holden area, will decide on an 11.1-mill tax renewal to fund the volunteer fire department.

West Ascension Parish drainage officials are asking voters in that area to renew and extend a long-standing property tax that they plan to use for the cleanup of a blocked bayou that keeps Donaldsonville and areas downriver from flooding.

Voters living on the west bank of Ascension Parish will consider a 4.67-mill property tax that would last 10 years.

The Iberville Parish School District is asking voters to renew three 10-year property taxes that raise money for alternative schools, building maintenance and teacher salaries. The millages are projected to generate about $9.9 million a year for the school system.

Voters in St. Gabriel also will consider candidates in the runoff races for the five-member City Council. Six people are vying for three seats: Joan Stevens Carter, Juan Vashion Darville, Freddie “Carl” Frazier Sr., Tressy Gleason, Ronald “Ronnie” Grace and Kelvin “Yorkey Boy” York Sr.

Also, St. James Parish voters will consider a $56 million school bond issue, and Tangipahoa Parish voters will decide on a property tax renewal for one of the recreation districts.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday.