ST. HELENA PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – The St. Helena Parish School District is asking for support with a proposed tax to help fund ways to protect its students. The school district wants people to vote “Yes” on a new one-cent sales tax and a new property tax during the general election on Nov. 18.
If both proposals pass, they will generate $1.7 million in annual revenue for the school district. While they mainly focus on supporting educational operations, the funds from these taxes could be used to improve school safety and improve and maintain school-related facilities.
In September, a 16-year-old student was killed in the St. Helena College and Career Academy parking lot. Some of the money will help the district secure entry points on campus and install perimeter fencing, cybersecurity and cameras. Bus monitors and school resource officers will also be hired as another layer of protection, according to the school board.
Money will also go toward teacher retention. According to the school district, more than 66 teachers have left in the past three years, and over 102 were hired. Officials want to become more competitive by increasing certified teacher pay by $6,000 and non-certified employee pay by $4,000.
Tax proposals on the ballot
Parishwide School Board – 1% S&U Tax – SB – In Perp. — Shall the Parish School Board of the Parish of St. Helena, State of Louisiana (the “School Board”), be authorized to levy and collect a 1% sales and use tax (the “Tax”) in accordance with Louisiana law, upon the sale at retail, the use, the lease or rental, the consumption and the storage for use or consumption, of tangible personal property and on sales of services in the Parish (an estimated $900,000 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the Tax for an entire year), in perpetuity, commencing January 1, 2024, with the proceeds of the Tax (after paying the expenses of collecting and administering the Tax), to be dedicated and used for the purpose of paying salaries and benefits of employees of the School Board and acquiring, constructing, improving and maintaining public schools and school related facilities in the Parish, including furnishings and equipment therefor?
Parishwide School District – 16.02 Mills – SB – 10 Yrs. — Shall Parishwide School District of the Parish of St. Helena, State of Louisiana (the “District”), be authorized to levy a tax of 16.02 mills on all the property subject to taxation in the District (an estimated $888,400 reasonably expected at this time to be collected from the levy of the tax for an entire year), for a period of ten (10) years, beginning with the year 2024 and ending with the year 2033, for the purpose of giving additional support for the current operations of the public elementary and secondary schools in the District, including paying salaries and benefits of employees of the School Board?