Oct. 18, 2012 05:30
Voters heading to the polls Nov. 6 will decide whether to renew a 16.7-mill property tax that equals roughly 11 percent of the school system's overall budget. Among the six tax renewals appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot is a Lafayette Parish School System property tax that funds roughly 11 percent of the school system's budget.

LPSS Superintendent Pat Cooper says the 16.7-mill tax passed in 1985 brings in roughly $27.5 million a year to the school system's operating budget, money that Cooper explains is directly tied to instruction and student services.

"We're not talking about capital improvements or anything like that. This is money that goes directly to teachers and students," he says.

An informational brochure being distributed to parents via their students as part of the school system's outreach efforts notes that the 10-year millage is not a new tax, meaning its renewal will not cost homeowners who don't fall under Louisiana's Homestead Exemption any more than they were already paying.

Should the tax renewal fail on the ballot, "the harsh reality is that staffing, programs and services will have to be cut," and teachers will likely see an additional three students in every classroom.

According to LPSS, the annual tax on property owners with homes valued at $150,000 is about $125.25.

The LPSB millage is the last item on the Nov. 6 ballot and follows five other millage renewals, two for city of Lafayette police and firefigher salaries and three City-Parish Council renewals tied to libraries, drainage and the Lafayette Regional Airport.

Early voting in Lafayette Parish starts Oct. 23 and ends Oct. 30. Sample ballots for the Nov. 6 election can be found on the Louisiana Secretary of State's website.

Also from Heather Miller