Parish schools keep tax rate same

Published 12:08 am Friday, July 14, 2017

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The Concordia Parish School Board kept its three tax millage rates at the same rate Thursday despite the loss of tax dollars after the closure of a major business.

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At their regular board meeting, the board decided the parish’s constitutional levee will remain at 2.81 mills, and the district’s two general support taxes approved by parish residents will remain at 24.74 mills and 12.86 mills.

CPSB Director of Business Affairs Thomas O’Neal said the parish is losing money because of the closure of the Fruit of the Loom factory.

“We can’t raise the taxes enough to cover the losses of Fruit of the Loom,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said the little amount that the parish would gain from raising the millage would not be worth it to tax citizens.

“If other agencies feel like they need to raise taxes they can, but we have never raised taxes … for as long as I been here,” O’Neal said.

This year will be the first year Fruit of the Loom will not be on the parish tax rolls in 20 years.

“In our case, we’re going to lose almost half a million dollars,” O’Neal said. “There’s no way, even if I had the authority, I would ask the people of Concordia Parish to make up that fee. That’s unfair for the homeowners.”

O’Neal said he thinks the Fruit of the Loom building has a tenant that could help replace some of the lost tax dollars, but they have not moved into the facility yet.

Project Blue signed a lease with the Town of Vidalia for use of the town-owned Fruit of the Loom building in May to make sure the facility will fit the undisclosed company’s operations.

Project Blue is an undisclosed industrial development prospect that would bring a new business into the former Fruit of the Loom building.