Early voting for Livingston drainage district tax renewal starts Saturday

Livingston Parish’s Gravity Drainage District No. 5 is seeking a 10-year renewal of its half-cent sales tax for drainage work within the district.

The proposition will be on the April 5 election ballot. Early voting begins Saturday. The tax, if approved, would raise an estimated $1.44 million per year.

The tax revenue is about 97 percent of the district’s budget, according to the district’s 2012 audit.

The taxing entity named in the proposition is Special Taxing District No. 5, which has the same boundaries as the gravity drainage district and provides funding for the drainage district’s work.

The boundaries of both the taxing district and the drainage district were amended in November to annex Walker’s industrial park and some adjacent residential areas.

The change came as the result of requests from surrounding property owners whose ditches were not within the drainage district but who wanted the benefit of the district’s work, the district’s legal adviser, Colt Fore of Fayard & Honeycutt, said.

“They wanted their ditches cleaned, too, and the Gravity Drainage District was fine with that, so the board voted to expand their boundaries and take them in,” Fore said.

The expansion was done before the tax renewal to give any residents taken in by the new boundaries an opportunity to vote on the tax, Fore said.