St. Charles Parish School Board approves tax reduction measure

In a vote of six to two during its Wednesday, July 26 meeting, the St. Charles Parish School Board approved a reduction of the parish school board millage property tax rate from 41.06 mills to 38.56 mills.

To illustrate what this tax reduction will mean for parish residents, School Board Chief Financial Officer Ronald White said parish residents who have a home assessed at a value of $250,000 should see a tax reduction of around $43.75 in annual property tax savings, assuming each takes the typical $75,000 homestead exemption.

“This will be the third year in a row in reduction, and the lowest levy in over 21 years,” District Two School Board Councilmember Ray Gregson declared, prior to voting to approve the measure.

The reduction is in addition to the parish council’s recent proposed millage rollback, which if also approved would reduce parish residents’ annual property tax bills even further.

“This would bring our total mills from 54.46 to 51.96,” District Eight School Board councilmember Alex Suffrin said at the Wednesday night meeting, prior to voting on the measure. “The one millage rate that we’re reducing is the school operations and maintenance tax; the other three [school board] millage rates will remain the same.”

According to Suffrin, the school constitutional tax will remain the same at 4.04 mills, school construction and improvement tax remains at 4.35 mills and the school bonds tax will remain 5.01 mills.

“With property values having increased and expected to continue to do so, the board determined it was possible to reduce the mills levied while still meeting the needs of the school system,” School Board President Art Aucoin said, following the tax reduction vote.

Like the parish council, the school board’s decision to reduce the school-related millage rates was largely made based on increasing tax revenue coming in from industrial properties across the parish. Various industrial assets will soon be losing their 10-year tax exemptions, generating new revenue that allowed the school board to comfortably reduce its millage rates for parish residents while at the same time not impairing its annual budget.

“The school board always considers its responsibility not only to the children of the parish, but also its fiscal responsibility to the parish,” White said. “[The school board] does not feel that it is proper to have revenues in excess of what it needs to operate a first-class school system.”

Six of the parish’s eight district members approving the millage reduction measure, with district members Ellis Alexander and John Smith voting against the tax reduction measure.

Given 2025 is a reassessment year for the St. Charles Parish tax assessor, the School Board could find itself in a similar position next year considering another tax reduction measure, though White said next year was too far off to speculate on.

“We’ll just have to look at what the rates look like as a result of [next year’s] reassessment, and certainly the board will consider reducing if that’s appropriate,” White said.


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