Close call in Livy Library Tax
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Voters have narrowly approved a property tax renewal to fund the Livingston Parish Library System. With complete but unofficial votes in, the measure passed by just 168 votes.
This millage-based revenue accounts for more than 95% of the system’s operating budget.
“It is a small amount of money taken out of your property tax. Most people don’t even see it. Homestead exemption, if you pay less than $75,000 for homestead exemption, you don’t even pay that. It is based on the value of your home,” explained library system director, Michelle Parrish.
On a $150,000 home, the annual tax is about $75 a year. This renewal has been on the books for nearly three decades. It is 10-year property tax that generates approximately $6,000,000 for the library.
“Without it, we have no funding for the library,” continued Parrish.
But it’s no guarantee.
Last month, Livingston parish voters rejected both a millage to renew funding for the parish’s health unit and a renewal for the recreation district for District Two, both were also up for a ten-year renewal.
Parrish says if previous years mean anything, they should have nothing to worry about.
“I think the library system means a lot to this parish. They have been supportive of it. We’ve passed the millage with over 70% every time it has come up,” Parrish said.
However, the library system has not been without controversy in recent years.
Last year, a debate over “questionable content” in the children’s sections went as far as to the parish council, leading to the departure of the previous library director.
Parrish believes Livingston’s residents will consider the advantages of continuing to fund a library system when they head to the polls.
“We need to look to the future. What will our children need in order to be successful as they graduate and hopefully stay in this parish and work in this parish? What kind of things will they need for those industries that are coming,” added Parrish.
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