St. John Public Schools tax initiative passes with 62% in favor

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LAPLACE — Local voters emphatically backed a St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools tax renewal last weekend, passing the millage by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

According to the initial unofficial numbers supplied by the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office, 2,138 voters approved the measure, compared to 1,302 against.

The turnout represented just more than 11 percent voter turnout.

Public Schools Superintendent Kevin George said he was especially excited to see the margin (62 percent) by which the measure passed, adding it shows St. John Parish believes in the School Board and School System.

“We are proud of it, we’re excited about it and we just want to thank this entire community for supporting the work we are doing with the children,” George said Monday morning.

The approval, which renews a special tax of eight mills on all property subject to taxation within St. John renews for a period of ten years, beginning in 2019 and ending in 2028.

George said School Board members wanted to go out to voters early, allowing time for adjustment on the off chance voters decided to cut off funding.

“Now that is passed, we can continue doing the things that we are currently doing, which is providing world class pre-k programs to our 4 year olds,” George said. “Everyone knows, if you do pre-k well, everything else is easier because you are not having to correct mistakes.”

One mill is dedicated to pay the District’s unfunded obligations for health benefits for retired employees and establish a trust fund for said purpose.

Four mills are dedicated to pay salaries and benefits of teachers and other employees.

The last three mills are dedicated to implementing a written plan for academic school improvements, a copy of which is on file with the Secretary of the Parish School Board.