Parish residents: Property tax rate should stay same

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 1, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – The possibility of a lower tax bill is an attractive one for most people.

But most Concordia Parish residents interviewed Thursday would rather see the Police Jury take in more tax money that could then be used for public works and services.

&uot;I’d rather them keep the tax millage like it is and put that extra money back into the parish,&uot; said Rusty Wagner of Vidalia. &uot;There’s plenty of work they could do with that money.&uot;

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This year, Concordia Parish reassessed the value of property on its 1999 tax rolls, and the assessed value went up slightly — by $444,440, for a total reassessed value of $71,281,080. The parish is required to reassess property’s value every four years, said Tax Assessor Monelle Moseley.

So the jury has two choices. One would be to reduce its tax millage to take in the same amount of money as before, which would mean some residents and business owners could pay less taxes or nearly the same amount as before.

Or the jury could keep millage at the current rate, which would raise about $10,000 more for the parish’s budget. On Monday, the jury set a public hearing for Oct. 9 to consider leaving the millage as it is.

Vidalia resident Casey Young said that with the future of $564,000 in taxes bankrupt Fruit of the Loom owes the police jury still uncertain, the jury needs the additional money.

&uot;I want them to be able to keep (public works) up, and I&160;know there is an increase in the cost of materials and labor to do that,&uot;&160;Young said. &uot;They’re facing a lot of problems. Besides, the increase in taxes couldn’t be that dramatic.&uot;

&uot;After all, $10,000 isn’t that much money for the whole parish to pay, and there’s a lot that needs fixing,&uot; said Edna Roberts of Ferriday.

Wesley Sherrod of Vidalia did not hesitate to say what he believes the jury’s first priority should be with the additional tax money. &uot;These streets need to be fixed,&uot; he said.

&uot;I say, let (millage) stay the same, and do extra work with the money you get,&uot;&160;said the Rev. F.D. Schiele of Ferriday.

Others, like Clara Graves of Lake Concordia, would like to see millage decreased. &uot;It seems like everybody is taxed to death as it is,&uot; Graves said.

Kristy Reeves of Ferriday said that due to a homestead exemption, she does not pay property taxes, but she still believes millage should be lowered.

&uot;I’m one of the lucky ones, since I&160;don’t have to pay it,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;Some people aren’t so lucky.&uot;

Because some property was reassessed at greater value and some at lower value, it is difficult to tell whether a certain property owner would pay more or less in taxes