In The News › Jefferson renews property taxes for schools, sewerage, water

Jefferson renews property taxes for schools, sewerage, water

By Ben Myers | The Times-Picayune

October 19, 2013

Jefferson Parish officials breathed relief Saturday as voters renewed $42.5 million in property taxes for sewerage, water and public schools. Parish President John Young’s administration and the Jefferson School Board were stunned in May when voters rejected the trio of 10-year millages that property owners have paid for years.

The school system’s 7-mill tax generates about $23.2 million annually, roughly 5.5 percent of its operating budget. It pays for maintenance, teacher salaries and extracurricular activities. School officials had warned of cuts to pre-kindergarten classes and middle-school extracurricular programs starting next year had the tax not been renewed.

The 3.54-mill water tax provides about $10.5 million every year for capital improvements and emergency repairs. The 3.58-mill sewer tax raises $8.8 million annually for emergency repairs, treatment plants, lift stations and odor control, and parish officials were banking on renewal to help get $37.5 million in state loans for sewerage upgrades.

The school tax is levied throughout Jefferson Parish, the water tax parishwide except in Westwego and most of Gretna, the sewer tax parishwide except in Grand Isle, most of Gretna, Harahan, Kenner and Westwego.

The Bureau of Governmental Research reports that a homestead-exempt homeowner with a property valued at $150,000 pays $52.50 annually in property taxes for Jefferson schools, $26.55 for water and $26.85 for sewers.

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