Case against St. John School Board dismissed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 2021

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EDGARD — Judge J. Sterling Snowdy dismissed a case against the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board during a hearing for a preliminary injunction at the Edgard Courthouse on Thursday.

Petitioner Shondrell Perrilloux of LaPlace requested the court grant a temporary restraining order and hearing for preliminary writ of injunction to determine whether an ad valorem tax increase passed by the School Board on June 17 was done in accordance with the law.

The temporary restraining order was intended to prevent the St. John School Board from proceeding with adopting minutes from a previous meeting.

Legal representation for the St. John School Board said the temporary restraining order was dissolved because Perrilloux’s petition did not include required documentation stating attempts were made to notify the defendant.

Snowdy said he had no choice but to dismiss the case for lack of procedural compliance.

The ad valorem tax increase will raise taxes based on the taxpayer’s assessed property value, according to School Board President Nia Mitchell-Williams. The estimated amount of taxes to be collected in the next year from the increased millage would be $31,742,812.35, and the amount of increase in taxes attributable to the millage increase is $9,684,171.99.

The millage increase was approved with a two-thirds vote of School Board at a June 17 meeting in LaPlace after a required 30-minute public hearing. The tax increase did not have to be voted on by the public because it is not in excess of the prior year’s adjusted maximum rate, which has previously been set by voters. The Louisiana State Legislative Auditor’s Office is the agency that supervises this process.

School Board President Nia Mitchell-Williams said the increase in taxes was necessary to address a budget deficit and make the district fiscally sound.