St. Helena Tax Update

Board pushing tax plan in St. Helena

EASLEYVILLE — St. Helena Parish school officials have begun making the case for two tax proposals that will go before parish voters later this year.

The School Board voted 4-1 during a special meeting Thursday to place two ad valorem propositions totaling 25.8 mills on the Nov. 6 ballot. The meeting was in the former New Zion Elementary School off La. 38 east of Kentwood.

Board member Alton Travis, who represents the 6th Ward where the meeting was held, voted against the move.

Resident Joshua Conleay asked board members what would happen if voters reject the proposal, and if U.S. District Judge James J. Brady imposes a tax as part of the desegregation case, whether the court-ordered tax would likely be higher or lower than the School Board’s proposal.

Resident Richard Sandberg, pastor of the neighboring New Zion Baptist Church, wanted to know what, if any, differences there were between the current proposal and tax propositions that failed in the past.

In May 2010, the School Board sought a 20-year, 55-mill property tax to raise $2.1 million for teacher and employee salaries. The measure failed 1,613 against to 1,015 in favor.

Voters also defeated a 25-year, 37-mill property tax backing a $20.4 million bond issue in July 2008, with 1,536 against and 1,152 in favor.

A similar bond issue likewise had failed nine months previously.

The salary millage would raise certified teacher pay by $6,000 per year and noncertified employee pay by $3,500 per year, Joseph said.

The second millage would allow for renovations to the high school gym and auditorium, elementary school classrooms and gym; renovation of the elementary school’s cafeteria; new parking, a new driveway and an eight-classroom addition for the elementary school; as well as a 1,500-seat football stadium, lighting, track and field house, she said.

One Response to “St. Helena Tax Update”

  1. MrEd Says:

    Just give ’em vouchers, then they will resegregate voluntarily.
    Go figure…

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