Much like today, back in 2003, the City of Leesville had some pretty bad streets and a good deal of infrastructure in need of repairs.
Trying to come up with the funds needed to fix this problem the city sought to adopt a millage.
On May 3, 2003 voters approved a 4.2 ad valorem tax millage to repay a bond over a period of 15 years.
Then in 2004, the City of Leesville applied for and was issued a $1.8M bond to complete some of the much-needed street and infrastructure repairs and maintenance.
This bond is scheduled to be paid off in March 2019.
The City of Leesville will have a special election on Saturday, May 4 so voters can decide to either keep this millage or let it expire.
Before you make a hasty decision to retain the millage or let it expire, know the facts.
A bond is basically an unsecured loan a municipal government is granted after the financial books are examined to ensure that it can be repaid.
If the city should need additional funds in the future to pay for repairs and maintenance it will ask for another millage tax to pay for another bond.
A millage is one one-thousandth of a dollar that is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
For example, if your home is valued by the Vernon Parish Tax Assessor at $36,400 the real property tax you would pay for this millage is $15.29 per year. Homeowners who are Homestead Exempt do not pay this millage tax at all because they do not pay property tax.
Business owners pay the majority of this millage tax because they pay a real property tax if they own the building, and an additional personal property tax on the inventory held within the business.
A business that does not own the building only pays the personal property tax. Currently, one popular chain store in Leesville pays $14,600 of this millage tax annually.
This millage tax brings in approximately $179,000 of revenue each year.
By retaining this millage the city plans to use the unrestricted money collected to complete future street and infrastructure repairs and maintenance, beautification to the city and other projects.
It will also reduce the need for the city to take out another bond in the future if a large amount of work needs to be done.
By voting to keep this millage tax, homeowners will see no increase in their tax bills from this millage unless there is an increase in the assessed value of the home by the tax assessor's office.
By voting to eliminate the millage, the majority of homeowners will only see a decrease in their annual tax bill of $.10 to $17.
Residents of Leesville will have the opportunity to discuss this millage at Town Hall meetings that will be scheduled in the coming months.
City officials what to make sure everyone is fully aware of the benefits of keeping this millage in place.