[StBernard] School Board vote saves property owners $3.1 million

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Jul 9 09:18:54 EDT 2013

School Board vote saves property owners $3.1 million

Jul 8th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: Top Story

School Board members, Superintendent Doris Voitier, and the School Board’s
Chief Financial Officer David Fernandez are excited about making this year’s
property tax-drop public.

“I have some very exciting news for the Parish,” said Fernandez. “We‚Äôre
about to have a huge drop in property taxes.”

St. Bernard property owners, to be specific, will enjoy a $3.12 million
reduction in property taxes this year thanks to the St. Bernard Parish
School Board.

“I‚Äôm excited to let taxpayers know that they will be paying 10 mills less
this year,” said Diana Dysart, President of the School Board.

The board voted unanimously to change the school district’s millage from 45
mills to 35 mills.

This has been made possible thanks to property values in the parish
continuing to rebound with rebuilding and restoration from Hurricane Katrina
losses, as well as the School Board’s ability to satisfy monies due on
bonded indebtedness for the calendar year of 2013. The Board decided to
forego the collection of debt service millage this year because it has
accumulated sufficient funds to service next year’s debt.

“The reduction comes at an opportune time for taxpayers as new millages for
the St. Bernard Fire Department and St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office are being
added to the tax bills this year,” said Fernandez.

However, this decrease will not be permanent. Once the money in the fund has
been expended for next year’s debt service payments, the Board will have to
re-establish some form of the debt service millage for 2014.

“Our current projections are that the Board will only need to levy 5.5 mills
or less, rather than the usual 10 mills per year, for the remaining life of
the bonds,” said Fernandez.

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