DONALDSONVILLE — The Ascension Parish Council agreed Thursday to put property tax renewals for six parish road lighting districts on the Dec. 8 ballot.
The 10-0 vote for the special elections means some parish voters would be considering three separate parish taxes when they head to the polls twice this fall.
The council vote followed a similarly unopposed vote by the lighting districts, which are overseen by the full council. In each case, Councilman Chris Loar did not vote Thursday. As council chairman, Loar does not vote unless to break a tie.
A proposed half-cent road tax for unincorporated Ascension Parish is set for the Nov. 6 ballot.
On Dec. 8, proposed property tax and parcel fees for parish Fire Protection District No. 1 will also be on the special election ballot along with the lighting district renewals.
The fire district, which is seeking to create a paid force and upgrade fire stations and fire trucks, covers a large swath of Ascension’s east bank outside Prairieville and Gonzales.
The fire district is seeking a 10-year, 15-mill property tax and parcel fees of $100 per year for commercial land and $32 per year for residential land.
The six road lighting districts headed to the ballot, which cover many rural sections of the parish, pay for the operations and maintenance of street lights, the parish 2011 audit says.
Four of the districts are on the west bank.
Two are on the east bank, including in the Darrow, Sorrento, Gonzales and St. Amant areas.
Five of the lighting districts headed to the ballot now have 10-year, 5-mill property taxes. A sixth, District 2, which is on the west bank, has a 10-year, 1-mill property tax.
The renewal ballot language adopted by the council for District 2 Thursday calls for a 10-year, 5-mill property tax.
The six lighting districts’ property taxes are set to expire at the end of year, according to the parish’s 2012 millage review.
A seventh parish road lighting district, District 7, was not put on the ballot Thursday and, according to the millage review, its tax is not set to expire until 2014.
If renewed, the six districts’ annual tax revenues are expected to range from $12,539 to $507,013, according to ballot language.
Combined, the six districts are expected to continue to pull in about $647,680 annually if renewed by voters, about 3 percent of parish government’s total property tax revenue.
A homeowner with a residence having a market value of $150,000 and homestead exemption pays $37.50 with a 5-mill property tax.
Other matters before the council included:
STREET LIGHTS: the council adopted a resolution to have Parish President Tommy Martinez sign an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to build street lights along La. 3089 between Thibaut Drive and the old Donaldsonville Elementary School.
Under the agreement, the parish would take over future maintenance and operation of new lights that DOTD plans to install in Lighting District 2, which serves the Donaldsonville area.