Police jury sets public hearing on millage rates

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – While their neighbors across the river are facing higher taxes, some Concordia Parish residents may have lower property taxes because of a reassessment of parish property.

After reassessment of the parish’s 1999 tax rolls showed an overall increase in the property value, the police jury has set a public hearing to discuss setting the millage rate for the parish budget.

Police jurors face a decision: they can lower the millage rate slightly, as the reassessment requires, or keeping it at the same rate — which could prevent the parish from losing nearly $10,000 from its budget.

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And police jury President Charlie Blaney said the parish can’t afford to lose any more money. On Monday, jurors voted to pay for emergency repairs to the air conditioning in the courthouse — at an estimated cost of about $17,000.

And the parish lost about $500,000 this year in taxes from bankrupt Fruit of the Loom. &uot;We’re not in crackerjack shape,&uot; Blaney said.

Blaney said setting the millage at the same rate is not a tax increase.

Tax assessor Monelle Moseley said the parish is required to reassess property every four years.

The overall reassessment of property for 1999 was higher than the original assessment, Moseley said. Because of that, the jury would be required to lower the millage rate slightly in order to collect the same amount of money projected in the original assessment.

Jury treasurer Robbie Shirley told police jurors Monday night that the lower assessment could cost the parish budget nearly $10,000, spread out over various funds.

For example, the drainage maintenance fund is appropriated 10 mills under the current millage rate system. Under the new assessment, it would be reduced to 9.94 mills. But if the jury holds a public hearing, it can petition to keep the same millage rate. The public hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9, at the police jury meeting room in the courthouse.

How do you know whether you’d pay more or less in taxes?

Because some property was reassessed at greater value and some at lower value, Moseley said it is hard to tell whether an individual property owner would pay more or less in taxes. It depends on how the property was assessed.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the jury heard complaints about stray dog problems from members of the community. The jury has discussed in the past the possibility of joining with parish municipalities to build an animal shelter, but funds are limited. Blaney asked people to sign up for a committee to discuss the problem and possible solutions. The committee had already met earlier previously, but Blaney said he hopes it can meet again and try to get the project accomplished.

Blaney said the committee has not set a date to meet again but he hopes it will meet soon. Anyone interested can sign up for the committee, he said.