CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish Police Jury elected Tuesday to keep its property tax millages at the same rate as last year, gaining small amounts of money because of a slight rise in property assessments this year.
East Feliciana Parish has the lowest property taxes in the state, a fact that railroads doing business in Louisiana recognize by claiming their domiciles in the parish although East Feliciana has no operating rail lines.
The jury levies a total of 9.27 mills in most of the parish, but only 7.88 mills in the town of Jackson, which has a different tax structure because of special legislation.
Deputy Assessor Jeff Gardner said 2012 is a state-mandated reassessment year, but the parish’s assessments did not increase very much because of the troubled economy.
State law requires taxing bodies to roll their millages back because of the higher assessments, but they also may vote immediately after to bring them back to the 2011 rates by a two-thirds vote.
By leaving the rates the same as last year, the general fund stands to gain about $789, the health unit will get an extra $708, the Audubon Regional Library an extra $590 and the 911 Commission an increase of $236, according to figures presented Tuesday.
Other topics before the jury included:
PARISH PLANNING: Mary Jo Salmon, who has been working with a committee on a comprehensive parish plan, said the group will offer it for public comment at two 6 p.m. meetings, on Sept. 10 at J.D.’s Restaurant in Clinton and on Sept. 11 at the Jackson Civic Center.
Called a “comprehensive resiliency plan,” the document will be available soon on the website http://www.efpmovingforward.com.
Salmon said the draft will include specific goals for the parish, along with possible funding sources.
“What I like about this plan is that the responsibility is spread across the entire parish,” she said.
EQUIPMENT FUNDS: The jury voted to apply for a possible $100,000 state grant and designate it for road equipment, and also transferred $141,000 in cell tower fees and $6,050 in oil lease revenue to the capital improvement fund.