Six road lighting tax renewals on ballot

Ascension Parish residents will vote on six parish road lighting district property tax renewals on the Dec. 8 ballot.

The six road lighting districts mainly cover rural portions of the parish, with four of the districts on the west bank of the Mississippi River and two on the east bank covering the Darrow, Sorrento, Gonzales and St. Amant areas. The revenue from the taxes pay for operations and maintenance of street lights in the districts.

Five of the districts will vote to continue a 10-year, 5-mill property tax. The sixth, District 2 on the west bank, would change the 1-mill tax collected over the past 10 years into a 5-mill tax collected from 2013 to 2022, according to the proposition’s language.

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 district will have its tax expire in 2014 and isn’t on the December ballot.

Early voting for the December election begins Saturday and continues through Dec. 1.

If passed, the taxes are expected to generate the following revenue for each district, according to ballot language:

  • District 1 — $29,008;
  • District 2 — $39,031;
  • District 3 — $32,743;
  • District 4 — $12,539;
  • District 5 — $27,346;
  • District 6 — $507,013.

The six districts are expected to generate nearly $650,000 annually, or about 3 percent of the total property tax revenue for Ascension Parish government. The Ascension Parish Council oversees the lighting districts.

A homeowner with a residence having a market value of $150,000 and homestead exemption pays $37.50 with a 5-mill property tax.