Archive for August, 2019

Scenes from the Court House this week

08/09/2019

Billy Mac McBride

“Lincoln Parish has provided me with so many opportunities. I want to use my experience to serve, and I want to be part of the positive things going on in Lincoln Parish.”

Walter Pullen

“I am now officially a candidate for Lincoln Parish Tax Assessor!! I want to say a special word of thanks to Heather my wife of 20 years for her love and support in this endeavor it’s is truly a team effort.”

Here’s Who’s Running for What in Lincoln Parish

08/08/2019

New Health Plan Proposed for LPSB Retireds

08/07/2019

A new and improved health plan for retirees of the Lincoln Parish School System was discussed at last night’s meeting of the School Board.

According to District Superintendent Mike Milstead, there will be a meeting for all retirees Thursday, 8/29, 10:00 AM, at the Ruston Civic Center. Blue Cross/Blue Shield personnel will be available to answer individual questions.

Said Milstead, “Everything in and out of network is zero copay,” except for a $50 emergency room service. He added, “On top of this, our retirees do not pay a premium. Now their spouses will pay a premium, of course.”

Asked if the plan will rely on Medicare as the primary insurer, Business Manager George Murphy said the plan will be joint with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Murphy said that retirees who are younger than 65 will have to stay on their existing plan until they attain that age.

See here a brochure provided by BC/BS.

In other money matters, the board adopted a budget revision to deal with a $3 million revenue shortfall from when the original budget was adopted last year. Almost all the shortfall will be made up through personnel attrition, rather than actual cuts.

See here the documents.

There was a quite lengthy list of personnel changes reported by Personnel Manager Doris Lewis.

See here the list.

Tax Ordinance Seeks to Fix “Mistake”

08/06/2019

An ordinance to “amend and restate” an existing 3/4% sales tax ordinance first adopted in 1984 was introduced at last night’s meeting of the Ruston City Council.

The new ordinance seeks to rectify what Mayor Ronny Walker and City Attorney Bill Carter claim is an error in the original tax ordinance document – that is a 20 year limitation on the levy. They say that the proposition passed by the city’s voters had no specific time limit, and the intent of the voters was that the tax should be considered permanent.

However, the actual ordinance document approved unanimously on 11/19/1984 by the Board of Aldermen, and signed by Mayor Elton Pody put a 20 year limit on the tax (pg 8). Collection of the tax began on 1/1/1985.

See here the original document in its entirety, with the proposition as presented to the voters.

This morning, a review of the document on file at the Lincoln Parish Clerk of Court showed it to be the same as the copy we have.

We also reviewed votes held in Lincoln Parish around the time the tax would have expired, and can find no record of a renewal tax vote held by the city.

If the document is legally binding, collection of the tax should have ceased on 12/31/2004.

There appears to be another significant issue in the proposed tax ordinance.

§8. Exclusions and Exemptions. The Governing Authority adopts none of the optional exclusions or exemptions allowed by State sales and use tax law, nor does the Governing Authority adopt any exclusions or exemptions authorized by legislation enacted under Article VI, Section 29 (D)(l) of the Constitution of the State of Louisiana of 1974, that are not allowed as an exclusion or exemption from State sales and use tax. Included within the Tax base is every transaction, whether sales, use, lease or rental, consumption, storage or service, with no exclusions or exemptions except for those mandated upon political subdivisions by the Constitution or statutes of the State of Louisiana, including the Act.

This provision may conflict with the original ordinance, which has several pages of exclusions and exemptions from the tax.

In other business, the council adopted property tax rates for the 2019 tax year.

Lincoln School Board Tomorrow

08/05/2019

The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, August 6, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here’s the agenda.

Tax Ordinances on City Council Agenda

08/04/2019

Two tax issues are on the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting of Ruston’s Board of Aldermen – a 3/4% sales tax and two property tax millages.

The property tax millage rates are set every year by ordinance, and appear to be at the same rate as 2018.

See here the document.

An ordinance “amending and restating” a 3/4% sales tax first approved in 1984 will be introduced.

See here the document.

See here the existing ordinance.

The meeting is set for Monday, August 5, 5:30 PM, Ruston City Hall, 401 North Trenton.

Here’s the agenda.