More tax requests proposed in parish special election

Published 9:44 am Thursday, February 16, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — Concordia Parish voters will have more ballot propositions to vote on April 29 that, if passed, may increase or rededicate taxes for the parish.

During a Monday meeting of the Concordia Parish Police Jury, the board adopted resolutions announcing two ballot proposals that will be added to the April 29 special election ballot.

The first one would rededicate funds earmarked for public health services from an annual millage of 1.81 mills collected without raising the tax.

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Cathy Darden, former Interim Secretary and Treasurer of the police jury, said the reason for the rededication is the fund currently has “in excess of $1.6 million and collects about $160,000 too much each year.”

As it stands, that money can only be used for public health services although not all of the tax revenue is needed for those services, she said.

“It’s not a tax increase. It’s just a rededication of those excess funds,” Darden said. “In the budget for 2023, I put more than what they needed just to be safe so we’re good. If it doesn’t pass, this money will sit there and do no good.”

Proposition 2 levees a 3 mil tax increase for the parish coroner’s office. Its estimated request would amount to $478,000 collected from the parish each year for the next 10 years. This would support “operating and maintaining facilities and equipment” at the Concordia Parish Coroner’s Office, the proposition states.

By state law, “If a coroner asks to put up to 3 mils on the ballot, you have to do it,” Darden said. “It takes the coroner out of our budget if it passes, so we wouldn’t have to fund it.”

Another 3 mil tax increase proposal was announced at the January police jury meeting to support Concordia Fire District No. 2.

A 3 mil tax increase on a property valued at $150,000 is approximately $30 more in taxes, Darden said.

Chief Vick Brown said the taxes would help the department to better respond to emergencies by increasing its manpower by having at least three people on each shift instead of two. Concordia Parish Fire District No. 2 provides fire service outside of Monterey, Vidalia and Ferriday, which each have their own city fire protection.