St. Charles Herald-Guide

Millages should not be permanent fixtures

Our View - June 28, 2007



When millages are passed to finance government activities, they are usually designed for a specific amount of total revenue. Whatever they support, the amount of millage is determined by the amount of money it will produce on that day’s assessment roll.

As the years pass, assessments change and so can the total amount of revenue produced. If it does, the amount of millage should be changed to suit that day’s needs.

Such was the case this past week when some of the parish agencies cut the amount of millages they will receive since assessments grew a great deal with recent reassessments. But this has not always been the case.

Understandably, agencies are reluctant to reduce millages as anyone is to reduce their income. And there is no law requiring them to do so.

But there should be an understanding, if not enforced by law, that they do so when that income becomes greater than what the millage was intended to support when it was originally voted upon by the public.

The law requires that millages last only 10 years before being voted upon again. But there is no restriction on lowering the millage in the meantime if no longer needed as voted upon.

And that should be done on a regular basis.