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Ballot to include tax renewal for senior programs

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / February 11, 1998

HAHNVILLE – Besides two tax propositions for the St. Charles Parishrecreation program, the May 2 ballot includes a tax renewal proposition to support the parish’s senior citizen program.

This is a 10-year, .98-mill tax for operation and maintenance of programsto benefit senior citizens, the program under the administration of the St.

Charles Council on Aging.

The tax, slightly under one mill, is a renewal with no increase in the rate.

Income from this tax is normally $557,000, according to information provided by the parish finance department.

The St. Charles Council on Aging was organized in December 1973 andincorporated in January 1976. It is administered by a 13-member board ofdirectors which meets monthly. It is advised by a 21-member advisorycouncil, which also meets monthly.

The Council on Aging is the primary provider of services to 4,700 seniors in St. Charles Parish, with programs such as home-delivered meals, dailyand special activities at five senior centers, transportation for personal and medical needs, home care, home maintenance, home health checks and other services.

It has 30 employees – nine full-time and 21 part-time – and works with the ARC of St. Charles Parish and United Way to operate a respitecare program. Other activities include the Seniors and Lawmen Togetherprogram for self-protection against crime, Senior Olympics with the parish recreation program and the annual Young at Heart Carnival ball.

According to 1990 census statistics provided by the Council on Aging, there are 3,750 white senior citizens and 929 black. Of these, 238 are 85or older. Also, 838 are below poverty level, and 1,034 live alone.It is also expected that the U.S. population will continue to grow as thebirth rate slows down, health care improves and a greater percentage of the total population will be senior citizens.

Since 1900, the percentage of Americans age 65 and more has more than tripled (4.1 percent in 1990 to 12.7 percent in 1990). St. Charles Parishranks 59th out of 64 parishes in the senior population.

With a .98-mill tax rate, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $2.45per year. The tax bill with a $200,000 home would be $12.25. Thecommercial rate for a $100,000 property would be $9.80. For a $200,000property, the rate would be $19.60.On the same May 2 ballot will be renewal of a 10-year, 1.97-mill propertytax for recreation and a 10-year, 1-mill property tax for recreation. If thetax is levied, the mosquito control tax would be limited to 1.13 mills ofthe authorized 2.16 mills as a trade-off, according to Parish PresidentChris Tregre.

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