Early voting starts Saturday on 15-mill WBR school tax

The West Baton Rouge Parish School District is asking voters to renew for another 10 years a special 15-mill property tax that generates about $5.8 million annually.

Superintendent David Corona said revenues from the tax fund salaries and benefits for about 100 teachers. If voters approve the tax April 6, it would remain on the books until 2023.

“We feel like we have earned the trust of the people and have been good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar,” Corona said Wednesday. “The facts indicate, educationally, we’re moving straight up the line.”

The school district’s performance scores issued by the state Department of Education have risen from 81.1 in 2006-07 to 105.5 in the 2011-12 school year, Corona said.

“We’re hoping the taxpayers we see fit to renew this tax so we can continue to provide quality services,” he said. “We’re getting ready to add an addition onto Brusly Elementary that we’re funding through our present funding sources. We’re not asking the taxpayers for anything extra.

Only those West Baton Rouge residents who own homes valued at $75,000 or more would have to pay the 15-mill tax, parish Assessor Barney “Frog” Altazan said, because the tax is subject to homestead exemption.

The special tax is the only ballot initiative going before West Baton Rouge voters in the April 6 municipal primary election.

Early voting for the April 6 election starts Saturday and continues until March 30 at the Registrar of Voters’ Office in the West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse Annex, 883 Seventh St., Suite A, Port Allen.

Voting hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily, except for Sunday and Friday, March 29, when the office will be closed.

On election day, Saturday, April 6, the polls will be open parishwide from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., parish Clerk of Court Mark Graffeo said.