Lincoln Parish School Board considering two new property taxes

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LINCOLN PARISH, La. (KNOE) - Property owners in Lincoln Parish could see two new taxes. Lincoln Parish School Board Superintendent Mike Milstead says the revenue will support school district enhancements.

Lincoln Parish School Board considers two new property tax for school enhancements.

Right now, the board is only considering having the taxes put on the ballot for May. They have not made a solid decision yet.

"We want to do this to have the best and safest schools possible," he said. "We owe and feel like that your children deserve the safest possible schools that we can have."

Milstead says, if passed, one tax is a twenty-year bond that would cost property owners on average 1.8 mills. He says the ten years would be 9.8 mills. The ten-year bond would come up for renewal every ten years.

"The average taxpayer will pay less than ten dollars per month for this millage increase," he said.

Milstead says the revenue will be used to keep students safe through a plan called "Project Secure," which is designed to the campuses even more safe then they are now.

The millage increase, if passed, would fund resource officers to be present at every school in the district. It would also support for more security to monitor who comes on and off campus.

Milstead says it would also allow them to bring in three mental health professionals.

"We want to make sure we address the mental health issues of all of our students," he said.

Milstead says the money would also be used to a make a new campus stand alone. He said they would consolidate students in the extended year program.

"This past summer we open that up, and students went to school for an additional 30 days," he said.

If residents vote to pass the millage increase, the board plans to move I.A. Lewis sixth graders to Ruston Junior High and turn I.A. Lewis into a campus solely for the extended students.

Residents like James Smith says he would not mind paying more to support the school district.

"As long as it's for the school and the children it's fine with me," he said.

Other residents are not fond of the idea for a new tax.

Milstead says the board will announce a public meeting, Tuesday evening. The meeting will be held at Cypress Springs Elementary School on January 8th at 10:30 a.m.

If the board approves of putting the taxes on a ballot, residents will have a chance to vote during May's election.