E. Feliciana split over proposed tax to fund schools
CLINTON - A tax proposal East Feliciana Parish residents will vote on Saturday has leaders torn down the middle.
School Board Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. wants a $4 million proposed tax to raise money for the parish's struggling school system, which isn't meeting state requirements.
"Even though we're living within our means right now, we'll be faced with challenges next year that we have to [deal with]. There's no other way around. We must address and we have to address it in the district one way or another," said Lewis.
The East Feliciana Tax assessor says this proposal would increase every resident's property tax by 45 percent. Lewis said it would only affect the average homeowner by about $100 more each year.
Police Jury President Dennis Aucion said the tax would have lasting effects on the parish, and he doesn't want it.
"I have no beef with the school as far as being against them other than this tax," Aucion said. "I mean not even consulting the police jury, and the police jury is the governing body of the parish, and we never had any conversation with the school board."
Aucion wants to keep the parish's property taxes down in order to lure businesses in.
"We have the railroads domiciled in this parish which we get about $680,000 in revenue that we're going to lose if this tax passes," he said.
Polls open Saturday at 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.