Minden Press-Herald

Wednesday
Oct 01st

Voters to decide on funding

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Approving a renewal tax in November could give the Webster Parish Police Jury money to continue to maintain the courthouse, Webster Parish Health Unit, Agriculture Extension Office and the courthouse annex building.

The 2.78-mill tax has been in effect since the early 1980's and the adjusted roll to be collected for tax year 2013 is $682,049.75.

"It's a millage tax that is a tax on property that pays for courthouse maintenance," WPPJ president Jim Bonsall said. "The tax has to be renewed every 10 years."

The millage is for a period of 10 years, however, on the ballot in the fall, the renewal of the 2.78 mills will be changed to a 20-year term, and it will also cover the WP Courthouse annex (the WPPJ owned Region's bank building) which houses the criminal division of the sheriff's office.

The mills tax is set to expire in 2015, but putting the renewal tax on the ballot in November will save taxpayers from funding a special election for the renewal.

"A special election would probably cost (the taxpayers) $30,000 to $40,000," Bonsall said. "We want to get on the ballot of one of the elections. The reason for doing it in 2014 instead of 2015 is because the tax would run out before we could have the chance to put it on the ballot again to renew it.

"I want the people to know that we are not asking for a new tax," he continued. "The reason we are wanting to have a 20-year term instead of a 10-year term is because if we need to borrow any money, we cannot borrow it for longer than the term of the tax."

WPPJ secretary-treasurer Ronda Carnahan said the funds are used to pay the maintenance staff salary and benefits, utilities, equipment upgrades and grounds of all the facilities for which the jury is responsible.

 

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