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Cameron voters reject property tax renewals

Last Modified: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 10:21 AM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Cameron Parish voters rejected two parishwide property tax renewals on Saturday that were intended to help maintain and operate public schools, an outcome the parish’s superintendent, Stephanie Rodrigue, said was disappointing.

Voters rejected renewing a 10-year, 8.5-mill tax and a 10-year, 6-mill tax. The 8.5-mill tax was expected to generate $2.3 million annually, and the 6-mill tax was expected to generate $1.5 million a year.

“I have heard from nearly all of our (school) board members, and they share my disappointment in the failure of both taxes,” Rodrigue said in an email Monday.

Rodrigue said she does not believe the outcome is a “statement against the school system,” but a “statement by taxpayers that they do not wish to pay taxes.”

“It is a proven fact that our school system is constantly achieving in a multitude of arenas, from academics to graduation rates to athletics,” she said.

Rodrigue said the school board in December approved using reserves to pay more than $2.8 million in a remaining bond balance at Grand Lake High School and $566,487 at Hackberry High.

“Both of these represent very significant savings to the taxpayers,” she said. “School boards paying off school bonds rarely happens, and we are fortunate that (they) voted to do so.”

Rodrigue said the election results become official at 10 a.m. Wednesday. She said the school board won’t promulgate the election results until its May 20 meeting.

“At that time, they can decide whether they want to run it again,” she said.

The next election is set for Oct. 19.

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