Trustees of St. John the Baptist Parish School District are considering a plan to ask voters to extend an 18 mill property tax that would back $46 million in bonds for construction and provide additional money for salaries and retiree health insurance.
Board members are expected to decide at the Aug. 7 meeting whether to call for a Nov. 4 election on the extension.
The district’s current levy of 39.83 mills generates $9.7 million a year. The debt service portion of the rate is 18 mills.
District finance director Felix Broughton said if voters approve, 10 mills of the debt service levy would be dedicated to support existing debt and $46 million of new bonds. The tax would generate $2.9 million a year, he said.
The district would sell $10 million of bonds a year for four years, Broughton said, and $6 million of bonds in the fifth year. The other eight mills would be divided in three parts.
Under the plan, four mills would bring in $1.2 million for employee salaries, or about $1,000 per district employee. Three mills would generate about $880,000 a year for the district’s capital improvement plan, and the other one mill would be dedicated for 10 years to an irrevocable trust that would pay future retiree health insurance costs. The single mill would provide annual revenue of $293,000.
The school district’s debt is rated A-plus by Standard & Poor’s, the only agency that rates the credit.