Mayor: Vote ‘yes’ on 3 property tax renewals on October ballot

Published 3:25 am Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Three key property tax renewals will be on the upcoming election ballot in October, and Mayor Wendy Perrette is urging Bogalusa citizens to vote “yes” on all three.

All three tax issues are already being collected, and voting to renew them would not raise citizens’ property taxes, Perrette said.

“We know that our citizens are tax-weary and tax-leery,” she said. “But these three taxes are already being collected, and they are taxes that our citizens are already used to paying. It is important that we vote ‘yes’ on all three of these taxes, in order for the city to continue being able to offer the services we have.”

All three taxes were initially approved in 2009, and must be renewed every 10 years. If renewed, they would be in effect from 2020 until 2029.

The three renewals on the ballot are as follows:

  • A special ad valorem (property) tax of 2.73 mills (an estimated revenue to the city of $188,041 annually), for “providing municipal services and for the maintenance and operation of municipal service departments, including the acquisition of necessary equipment therefore, and the payment of salaries of the personnel of said departments.”
  • A special ad valorem tax of 7.84 mills (estimated annual revenue of $540,014), for “providing retirement and pension benefits for current and former Police Department, Fire Department and general city employees and personnel.”
  • A special ad valorem tax of 4.02 mills (estimated annual revenue of $276,895), which would be split equally among two purposes. It would be allocated “50 percent for acquiring, constructing, improving, operating and maintaining parks and recreation facilities and programs, and 50 percent to pay for acquiring, constructing, improving, operating and maintaining public buildings owned by the City, including the Senior Citizens’ Center, and operating programs in such public buildings.”

Perrette said that she knows taxes are an unpopular subject, but citizens have already been paying the three tax ballot initiatives for the last 10 years. They are already used to budgeting for them, and the city’s financial situation would be in even worse shape if any of the renewal initiatives fail.

“I just want to stress the importance of these propositions,” she said. “We want to be sure that everyone is getting an educated opinion. We don’t want there to be any rumors out there that ‘the city is going to raise your taxes.’ None of these would raise taxes at all.”

The special election will be Saturday, Oct. 12.