Concordia voters to decide school tax fate

Published 3:38 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

VIDALIA — On Saturday, Concordia Parish residents go to the polls to vote on the renewal of the Concordia Parish school tax.

The annual 25 mil tax generates approximately $3.5 million annual for the school system and is used to support operations, construction, maintenance as well as fund teacher and school district employees’ salaries.

Concordia Parish School Board President Fred Butcher said during a Thursday meeting that the $3.5 million generated by the tax millage is extremely important to the school system’s general fund. Also important, Butcher said, is that people vote.

“I think people realize what we do is important and the parish has been very good to us in the past and I think they will be good to us again,” Butcher said. “The important thing is that we continue to put the message out there, ‘there is a tax election Saturday. Go out and vote.’”

The district has done that by passing out flyers and making phone calls to students’ parents reminding them to vote, the parish Superintendent Toyua Watson said.

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office, 12,636 people in the parish are registered to vote in the election. On Friday morning, a total of 59 early votes had been cast and 151 absentee ballots had been received with a 4:30 p.m. deadline for more mailed ballots to be received, with the exception of military or overseas voters.

The school district’s ballot proposition reads as follows:

“Shall School District No. 10 of the Parish of Concordia, State of Louisiana (the “District”), continue to levy a special tax of twenty-five (25) mills on all the property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $3,580,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2023 and ending with the year 2032, for the purpose of giving additional support for constructing, improving, maintaining and operating public schools and school related facilities in the District, including payment of salaries of teachers and other school system employees?”

The Louisiana Secretary of State’s office states Concordia Parish is one of 26 parishes in the state that has only local propositions on the ballot and no local candidate races on Saturday.

Seven parishes, including Ascension, Bossier, Catahoula, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Orleans and Rapides, have local propositions and candidate races and Vernon Parish has only candidate races. Ouachita Parish has a local proposition and a recall election and another 29 parishes have no elections Saturday: Caldwell, Cameron, Claiborne, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Red River, Richland, Sabine, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Martin, Vermilion, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana and Winn.