Christmas came early for the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) at last night’s meeting, and if the trend in sales tax collections holds up – Business Manager George Murphy emphasized IF – school board employees could get an extra bonus check this school year.
November sales tax receipts came in at slightly above $2 million, 80% greater than the same month last year. For the first five months of fiscal year 2014-2015, sales tax collections are about $1.3 million ahead of a year ago. Murphy said the increase is due to the parish’s thriving oil and gas exploration and production activity.
About half the local money that funds operation of the district come from sales taxes, with the other half from property taxes. Those two local sources in turn make up about half of the total revenue (about $70 million for this fiscal year) for the district. The balance comes from Louisiana’s Minimum Foundation Program and federal sources.
See here the November tax report.
Murphy said if the trend continues for the next several months, there would be a recommendation for an additional employee bonus payment, in addition to the two (commonly called 13th and 14th checks) that have historically been awarded. Sales taxes are dedicated to employee salaries and benefits, per the propositions as they were voted upon.
Said Murphy, “If, big word here, IF this continues for the rest of this year, and if we have like a groundswell of the amount of money coming in, then more than likely what our recommendation would be to the board would be to do something similar to what was done ten years ago.”
About ten years ago, the district received a significant settlement on a tax lawsuit and paid an employee bonus with the proceeds.