- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - Three Livingston Parish tax renewals that were rejected in 2014 elections are going back before voters on the May 2 ballot.

The parish health unit, Live Oak Sports Complex and Holden-area fire department are all asking voters to reconsider their funding requests.

Also on the ballot will be a Livingston Parish School Board tax renewal, which seeks to continue collecting a decades-old maintenance millage that could be in jeopardy if the recent anti-tax trend continues.

The 2.5-mill property tax to support the parish health unit is a scaled-back version of an existing 5-mill tax that expires this year. The tax provides funding for maintenance and operations at the health unit building, including 11.5 staff positions, while state and federal funding provides much of the programming and services.

Voters rejected a 10-year renewal of the 5-mill rate in November.

The parish school board’s tax is the only one on the May ballot that didn’t fail last year. The board is seeking to renew a 10-year, 7-mill property tax that would raise approximately $3.3 million annually.

The tax covers between 50 percent and 80 percent of the school system’s maintenance budget every year.

Recreation District 2 is again seeking renewal of the 15-mill property tax that funds the Live Oak Sports Complex and Watson Community Center. The 10-year tax is projected to generate nearly $850,000 annually - more than 80 percent of the recreation district’s budget.

Several local schools depend on the facilities, and the sports complex is home to the Live Oak High School Eagles’ baseball and softball teams.

Fire District 10 lost its funding in the December election by six votes out of 894 cast. Now, the district, which includes a large swath of the parish in the Holden area, is trying again to re-up its 11.1 millage, which covers everything from equipment to insurance to training.

Without the tax, Chief Warren Stewart said, the local volunteer fire stations will run out of money in a matter of months.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1JpO27u) taxing bodies must wait six months before bringing an unsuccessful tax proposal back before voters.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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