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Story Archives: Police jury, school system to split election costs
|Police jury, school system to split election costs|
When voters go to the polls next month to decide two tax issues, Franklin Parish will have to pony up some $22,000 to cover costs of the election.
In June, the Franklin Parish School Board set Nov. 14 as the date it will ask voters to approve a 10-year renewal of a .5-cent sales tax.
"Really, we're doing it early," Johnson said of the proposed sales tax renewal. "We just thought Nov. 14 would be the good date."
The school tax, which expires in late 2010, is one of two tax propositions on the ballot in November.
Though the exact costs of running the parish-wide election could not readily be determined, Johnson said the parish school system paid $22,000 in the past when it placed a tax measure on a ballot for voters to decide. Jacques Berry, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State's office, said the Nov. 14 election in Franklin Parish would cost roughly $28,000.
The Nov. 14 ballot also will feature a parish-wide sales tax amendment offered by the Franklin Parish Police Jury. Accordingly, the costs for conducting the Nov. 14 election will be divided between the school board and police jury.
Last year, Secretary of State Jay Dardenne worked to change the manner in which Louisiana conducts special elections. Previously, elections could be called at virtually any time.
Now Louisiana limits special elections to already-approved dates set by state law.
Dardenne spokesman Berry said the 4th District Supreme Court race voters decided in earlier this month was held on "a regularly scheduled election day," though it actually was a special election.
"It was not a special election date," Berry said.
He also noted the Nov. 14 election is a regular election day.
According to police jury treasurer Sam Wiggins, the police jury chose the November date because the school tax was on the ballot and the police jury amendment "could go on either one."
Johnson said the determining factor in the school board placing its tax renewal on the November ballot was simply to give the parish time to regroup if the tax renewal fails.
"We still will have ample time to bring it back, should it go down," Johnson said.
He stressed the importance of the tax, noting it brings in more than a third of all locally generated revenues for the parish school system.
"That tax generates about $1.2 million a year," Johnson said. "It's our biggest local tax."