LPSS silent at first tax presentation

Photo Credit: The Daily Advertiser
Photo Credit: The Daily Advertiser

LAFAYETTE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) – Lafayette Parish School Board members offered no input and asked no questions about a proposed new tax for school facilities Wednesday.

The item was on the board’s agenda as an informational item only, meaning it was not up for a vote.

Superintendent Donald Aguillard urged board members to consider an option for a 30-year property tax to fund bond sales. That would raise more than $500 million for the district over the life of the tax.

The proposition also would include two mills for building maintenance and a half-mill for technology.

Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry said 15 mills would mean $37.50 in property taxes per year for a $100,000 home. It would mean $187.50 per year for a $200,000 home.

But because the tax would be used to fund bond sales, Guidry said it would be unlikely that the full 15 mills would ever be assessed. The district would determine the bond amount first, then see how many mills are needed to fund those sales.

“We have to present it a certain way in the proposition, but the chances of that getting that high, or close to it, for more than a year or two are very slim,” Guidry said.

Aguillard said the money would address “the glaring need” to remove the 494 temporary classrooms in the parish.

“We have roughly 20 percent of our students who are educated daily in our temporary buildings,” Aguillard said. “We have a couple of schools where the number of temporary buildings is exceptionally high.”

Aguillard said the idea is to build new classroom wings at several campuses.

If the measure is to appear on an April 2017 ballot, the board would need to give it initial approval in December.

Although informational items often include only presentations, the board did have discussion on another informational item Wednesday about a possible second health career academy at Northside High.

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