° empty

Early voting starts today in La. races

VIDALIA — Early voting for the election in which Concordia Parish residents will decide if an increase in taxes is worth the potential for improving the parish’s long-standing drainage needs begins today.

Early voting for the Dec. 8 ballot will be between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the registrar of voters’ office in the Concordia Parish Courthouse. It will continue daily until Dec. 1, with the exception of Sunday.

On the ballot is a proposed 1-mill drainage tax to be levied in perpetuity. If passed, the millage is expected to raise approximately $133,700 annually to fund the operation and maintenance of drainage structures for Black River Lake and Brushy Bayou. The Black River Lake Commission has $3.5 million in funding for the drainage project secured, but the funds can’t be released until the upkeep and maintenance of the drainage structures can be guaranteed.

In real dollar costs, the passing of the millage would not increase taxes for anyone whose property is valued at $75,000 or less.

For those whose home is valued at $100,000, the increase would be approximately $2.50 annually; for a home valued at $200,000, the increase would be approximately $12.50 a year.

The tax increase for 100 acres of agricultural land would be between $1.83 and $3.37 a year. A 100-acre tract of timber land would generate between $0.75 and $3.87 annually.

In Monterey, residents can vote on a proposed $50-per-parcel fee to help fund the Monterey-area fire district. If passed, that fee will be levied for 10 years.

Also on the ballot in local, non-parishwide elections are runoffs for school board district 4B and Ferriday’s alderman district B.

The race for the school board seat is between Jeffery Goodman and Angela Hayes, while the alderman’s race is between the incumbent Elijah “Stepper” Banks and “Chris” Chatman.