Early voting for May 2 begins

Published 12:10 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish voters can join the rest of the River Parishes today as early voting begins in advance of May 2’s elections.

In St. John, voters are deciding if they want to renew a property tax set to expire at the end of the year.

Passage of the 1 mill tax in May, which generates approximately $450,000 annually, would extend the tax for 10 years.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Council set the election date for the levy, which Chief Financial Officer Vince Lucia said at the time is used for constructing, operating and maintaining the parish courthouse, jail and office building.

Lucia said the tax has been in place since at least 1996, adding the parish’s Assessor’s Office rolled back the tax to 1.0 from 1.01 mill in 2011.

He said passage of the tax in May would mean no changes in parish homeowner’s taxes.

If the tax wasn’t renewed, “the parish would lose approximately $447,000 for maintenance of buildings beginning in 2016,” Lucia said.

Early voting starts today and ends April 25; however, there is no voting on Sunday.

Residents can cast their votes locally in early voting from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Registrar of Voters Office at 1801 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace and at the parish courthouse, 2393 Louisiana 18 in Edgard.

St. John election commissioners are asked to attend pre-election school on one of the following dates: 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Arcuri Center, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Arcuri Center or 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Edgard courthouse.

St. James Parish

St. James Parish voters are deciding a parishwide school district bond election.

Voters are being asked to extend for two decades an existing 10-mill property tax, creating up to $56 million for the School Board to enact expansive plans.

In February, School Board members voted to make upgrades at Fifth Ward, Sixth Ward and Vacherie Elementary Schools on the West Bank and Lutcher, Gramercy and Paulina Elementary Schools on the East Bank.

The school district would reconfigure some grade levels with Lutcher Elementary becoming a pre-kindergarten through fifth grade facility, and Paulina and Gramercy Elementary Schools splitting the sixth graders from Lutcher Elementary.

Also approved was the proposed merger of the Career and Technology Campus and the Science Math Academy at the present Career and Technology Campus to become an early college high school program with an upgraded facility.

A Performing Arts Academy and sixth grade would be added to a new St. James High School if voters approve the bond election.

Early voting takes place in St. James at two locations from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through April 25 at Convent courthouse, 5800 Louisiana 44 in Convent and at

St. James Parish Courthouse Annex, 2631 Louisiana 20 in Vacherie. There is no Sunday voting.

St. Charles Parish

Voters in St. Charles Parish have three measures to decide on May 2 but can get early voting accomplished starting today.

Proposition 1 is the renewal of an existing 2.2 mill property tax for 30 years to finance wastewater system improvements and allow the parish to use a portion of the revenue to meet maintenance and operations expenses for the system once the bonds are paid.

Proposition 2 is a new 4-mill property tax designated for building a $300 million flood protection levee system on the parish’s West Bank and completing the levee system on the parish’s East Bank in Montz, which is outside the federal levee system.

Proposition No. 3 asks voters to approve a .7 mills tax for 10 years to operate, maintain and construct facilities and for providing services associated with the ARC of St. Charles for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in St. Charles Parish. An estimated $843,000 is expected to be collected from the tax each year.

Early voting in St. Charles Parish lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through April 25 at two locations: on the East Bank at the Arterbury Building, 14564 River Road in New Sarpy; and on the West Bank at the courthouse in the Registrar of Voters Office, 15045 River Road in Hahnville.

There is no Sunday voting.