St. Tammany council tonight discusses possible tax increase

St. Tammany council tonight discusses possible tax increase
Photo credit St. Tammany Parish

Tonight the St. Tammany Parish Council talks property taxes in a public hearing. There are some expenses stacking up that the parish needs to figure out how to pay.

St. Tammany is coming up short on state-obligated funds for the jail, the courts, and the district attorney's office. Stephen Stuart, vice president of the Bureau of Governmental Research, says the parish needs more than $26 million dollars for it.

"In the 2022 budget, they could only fund about a little bit under 14 million of that number," said Stuart.

Voters have repeatedly shot down proposed sales tax increases. The council has an opportunity for a roll-forward of tax millages -- but even that would only net them about $1.04 million a year. And not all of that would be available as discretionary spending.

"Only about half of that would be available for paying these state mandated costs, so a little bit over $500,000," said Stuart. The rest, he says, is obligated to go to the parish animal shelter as part of a designated tax.

Stuart says obligatory spending is part of the reason why the parish is feeling the squeeze: "The parish's budget overall is 90 percent dedicated to specific purposes."

The public hearing is tonight at 6 p.m. in the parish council chambers at the government complex on Koop Drive in Mandeville.

Featured Image Photo Credit: St. Tammany Parish