Algiers flood protection tax renewal set for Nov. 21 vote

Andrea Shaw, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Andrea Shaw, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 
on August 11, 2015 at 7:28 PM, updated August 11, 2015 at 7:35 PM

Shaw - August 11
 Algiers voters will be asked to renew a 6.35-mill tax for 30 years on Nov. 21 to pay for flood protection. (Andrea Shaw, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Algiers voters will be asked to renew $1.2 million in property taxes for flood protection Nov. 21. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday (Aug. 11), calling for the tax election.

Voters will consider reinstating a 6.35-mill Special Levee District Improvement Tax for 30 years. First approved in 1973, the millage was renewed in 1983 for 30 years.

With the tax expiring in December, the levee authority will ask voters to “re-impose” the millage, a legal term, said Board President Susan Maclay.

“We are simply asking them to re-impose a tax that just ended,” Maclay said. “Their tax bill will be the same in January 2016 as it was in January 2015. To the average voter, it’s a renewal.”

Altogether, Algiers property owners are assessed 12.56 mills for flood protection, which generates $2.4 million of the levee authority’s $7.4 million budget. In addition to the special tax, residents pay .75 mills for maintenance and a 5.46-mill constitutional general tax.

If approved, the 6.35-mill special levee tax would cost the owner of a $175,000 house in Algiers $63.50 annually with a homestead exemption.

The authority’s meeting Tuesday was the first of two scheduled this week to set tax elections. Commissioners will hold a special meeting Wednesday at their offices in Marrero to call a referendum for West Jefferson flood protection. The authority will ask residents to support a $5.5 million tax increase.

Authority officials say the taxes are critical for operating and maintaining a flood protection system built after Hurricane Katrina. The system, comprised of 100 miles of levees, floodwalls and floodgates, includes the world’s largest drainage pump station and improvements needed for federal certification.

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