Voters will be asked to support homestead exemption proposal
St. Mary Parish voters will be asked to approve a proposition in October that would double the homestead exemption on property taxes for fully disabled military veterans.
A resolution was passed Wednesday by the parish council to put the item on the Oct. 22 primary election ballot.
Statewide voters approved Act 1049 in November as a constitutional amendment that had been unanimously adopted by the state Legislature during its 2010 session. It now requires passage by voters in each parish.
If approved, the exemption would be doubled to $150,000 for veterans with 100 percent service connected disabilities, according to Earl Veeder, the St. Mary Parish Veterans Affairs officer.
“This would not be a great deal of money to the parish,” Veeder told the council.
He said about 3 percent of the parish’s 2,700 veterans could qualify for the exemption, but since not all of those are property owners, only about 50-75 people would be eligible.
The council passed the resolution unanimously.
In other business Wednesday the council:
—Introduced ordinances on the issuance and sale of $6,865,000 in public improvement bonds.
—Adopted ordinances levying the annual library (6.97 mills, in all areas except Morgan City) and law enforcement (7.72 mills in unincorporated areas and 3.62 mills within municipalities) property taxes.
—Passed resolutions calling an election to authorize renewal of an 11-mill property tax by St. Mary Parish Water and Sewer Commission 2 on Oct. 22; and authorizing execution of an engineering service agreement with LJC Poole LLC on the Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport taxiway lighting rehab project.
—Passed resolutions authorizing execution of cooperative endeavor agreements for emergency services and response with Calcasieu, Plaquemines, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.
—Appointed Paul Gil to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Tony LaRive to the Kemper Williams Park Advisory Committee; and reappointed Donald C. Lantz and Jerome B. Bertrand to Gravity Drainage District 2 and Gravity Sub-Drainage District 1 of Gravity Drainage District 2, Ann W. Poole to Recreation District 2 and Al Kuhlman, Sandra Marshall and Stan Robison to the Tourist Commission.
—Approved an $8,500 financial allocation request to the Verdunville Community Summer Enrichment Program through Community Action Agency.
—Heard from Chief Administrative Officer Henry “Bo” LaGrange that the bridge replacement project on Thorguson Road in Berwick will begin June 20. The bridge will be closed for about 90 days in which traffic will be detoured to River Road. Access to the Harold J. “Babe” Landry Landfill will not be interrupted.