School board to consider sales tax levy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 14, 2010

VIDALIA — When the Concordia Parish School Board meets tonight, one of the items on the agenda will be to consider calling a special election to authorize the continued levy of a sales tax.

The tax, which has been in effect for 10 years, expires this December, and Business Manager Tom O’Neal said the district is only asking people to renew it.

The 1 percent sales tax — in practical terms, a 1-cent tax for every dollar spent — generates approximately $2.3 million a year for the school district.

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The tax pays for 100 percent of the school system’s utility bills, and the district used funds generated from the tax to buy five new school busses last year, O’Neal said.

“It is very important to our budget,” he said.

“It applies to things like vocational materials and supplies, library materials and supplies, school allotments, everything from science labs all the way to athletics.”

The funds are also used to help the district generate its 13th check, a supplemental check given to all district employees once a year, O’Neal said.

All the school board will do tonight is call for the election, and O’Neal said the district would likely ask for the May 1 election date.

The reason the election has to be called this early is because the district will have to go through the bonding commission to get it approved, O’Neal said.

“If (the tax) is passed it will go into effect Jan. 1, but it will just be the continuation of something that is already in effect,” he said.

Other items on the agenda include:

4Appointment of a principal for Ferriday Junior High School.

4Setting the dates for the 2010 school board meetings.