Zachary to vote on tax renewal

Voters in the Zachary Community School District decide in the Dec. 8 general election whether to renew a proposed 38.2-mill property tax the district has collected since it began operations in 2003.

Early voting for the election will continue daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday at four locations in East Baton Rouge Parish, including the Motor Vehicles Building, 2250 Main St., Baker.

The other early voting sites are the registrar of voters’ main office, 222 St. Louis St., Room 201; Court Plaza Building, Court Plaza Building, 10500 Coursey Blvd., Room 203; and the Secretary of State Archives Building, 3851 Essen Lane.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board also levied a 38.2-mill tax for operations until the Zachary board took over the Zachary schools.

The tax provides 18 percent of the revenue the district spends for instructional purposes, according to a fact sheet the district has distributed. The state provides 57 percent of the revenues, and sales and use taxes account for 21 percent.

The Zachary School Board collects about $7.6 million annually in revenue from the tax, which supports salaries and benefits for teachers and other school personnel, technology purchases and routine operational costs.

The 38.2-mill property tax is separate from the 36-mill property tax that voters approved to repay construction bond issues for Zachary’s school building program.

The tax proposition on the Dec. 8 ballot, if approved, would cost $287 a year for a property owner with a home valued at $150,000, after the homestead exemption is applied.