Jury sets property taxes

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 27, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – Property taxes levied by the Concordia Parish Police Jury are up this year as the result of a library tax passed by voters in July 1998.

In its Monday meeting, the jury set property taxes for 1999 at 21.60 mills, up from 19.77 last year. A mill represents one-tenth of every cent of a property’s assessed value.

Included were a 2.47-mill parish tax, 8.5 mills for libraries, 9.83 mills for drainage and public buildings and 0.8 mills for health care. The timber tax was set at 8 cents an acre, the same as last year.

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&uot;Last year, the parish health service millage was 1.8 mills, … but we were able to take a mill off that because the parish health unit is spending their money wisely,&uot;&160;said Cathy Darden, chair of the jury’s finance committee.

On a house worth $100,000 without a homestead exemption, that would amount to a $18.30 rise in Police Jury taxes alone. But that does not take into account taxes levied by other agencies, including taxes for law enforcement, schools, fire protection and other needs.

Some boards that govern such services have not yet set their tax millage for this year. And increases or decreases in their millage will affect residents’ overall tax bills.

Earlier in the meeting, Census 2000 Specialist Kristina Hickman told the jury that the parish had lost more than $1 million in government money over the past 10 years.

That is because the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 428 people were not counted in the 1990 census. So, at her request, the jury voted to appoint a committee to publicize the census in Concordia Parish. That will make people more aware of the importance of filling out and mailing in census forms, she said. It will also let people know that the bureau soon will be looking to hire census takers in the parish. The committee, which will be appointed by the jury, will probably have its first meeting in November.

Jurors also heard a presentation from S&S Supplies of Baton Rouge, which applies chemicals on unpaved roads to reduce dust. Treatment would cost $3,000 to $4,000 a mile, and the parish has 105 miles of unpaved roads near populated areas.

The jury referred the information to its Public Works Committee, which will bring a recommendation back to the Police Jury at the jury’s next meeting.

The presentation was made two weeks after 12 residents of the Freeman Road area asked the jury to blacktop the dusty road – a request they said they’ve made for 18 years.