PORT ALLEN — The West Baton Rouge Parish School Board decided Wednesday night to roll forward the district’s millage rate for the 2012 tax year.
School Superintendent David Corona said the decision would generate about $500,000 in additional revenue.
Board President Jason Manola said the revenue boost will help offset spending increases related to employee pay incentives and benefits coverage outlined in the board’s recently approved 2012-13 fiscal year budget.
Governing bodies across the parish were granted the option of adjusting their millage rates without voter approval due to the parishwide property reassessment conducted by the parish Assessor’s Office.
Assessors must reassess property values in their parishes every four years.
During reassessment years, taxing bodies are required by law to “roll back” their tax rates to levels that will generate the same revenue as the previous year.
But because property values increased in West Baton Rouge Parish this year, Manola said during Wednesday night’s meeting, the board could vote to keep the school district’s millage the same, or “roll them forward,” creating the additional revenue.
The board approved the roll forward move on an 8-1 vote.
After the meeting, board member Michael Maranto said he voted against rolling forward the millage rate because many parish residents live on fixed incomes.
Because of this, Maranto said, he felt the board was presented an opportunity to give people with fixed incomes a tax break by “rolling back” the millage rates.
Other agenda items considered by the board included:
ARCHITECTS SELECTED: The board unanimously accepted the superintendent’s recommendation to choose two architectural firms — Dean Hotard & Associates, of Port Allen, and Robertson Loia Roof Architects & Engineers, of Atlanta — to jointly produce preliminary size and cost plans for additions to Brusly Elementary School.
The firms also are being asked to develop a site plan to determine acreage requirements for a proposed new Brusly High School, although Manola stressed again during Wednesday’s meeting that there are no plans to build a new high school.
“We’re just doing this for future planning,” he added.
The firms are doing the architectural work at no charge to the board, officials said.
The board has indicated it hopes to add as many as 14 new classrooms, more storage space and new restrooms at Brusly Elementary, a school that has been struggling with overcrowding issues for several years.
CALENDAR REVISIONS: The board agreed to revise the district’s 2012-13 calendar to make up the four days Corona said students missed due to school closures related to Hurricane Isaac.
The district will make up the loss in instructional hours by removing four early dismissal days from the school calendar, Corona said.
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