Taxable values up; millage rates down

By Cyndi Sellers

The Cameron Parish Police Jury voted on Thursday to lower tax rates for some of the funds it administers. Because this is a reassessment year for parish residential properties, many homeowners will find that their property values have gone up. In order to soften the effect, the Police Jury elected to lower its parishwide millages a total of 3.59 mills, and the Parish Library 2 mills. Even with the reductions, Cameron Parish Police Jury income will be up by $1.3 million. The Library will see a modest drop of $80,000.

Cameron Fire District #1 residents will see an additional 2 mill reduction. Local residents had passed an additional 8 mill tax a year and a half ago to fund paid firefighters, but the department has managed to lower its fire rating from a 10 to a 5 with a volunteer team, and purchase two used fire trucks at a very low cost, the reduction is to the original 6.07 mill tax.

Other fire districts will see little to no change in millage, but the District 7 (Creole) and Hackberry Fire District bond issue sinking funds will levy no taxes this year, eliminating 6 mills for Creole and 1.2 mills for Hackberry. The Grand Lake Fire District’s millage was reduced by .25 mills, resulting in a very slightly lower estimated tax income.

This will be the second year that Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG import facility will be on the tax rolls, and the first year for Cameron LNG’s import facility.

Taxable values for local Johnson Bayou and Hackberry districts and parishwide funds have risen considerably. The Police Jury only controls tax rates for the fire districts. Water, recreation or other local districts set their own tax rates, as do the parishwide Mosquito Control District, School Board, and Sheriff’s Office.

Hackberry Fire District’s taxable value rose by $83.6 million, and its estimated ad valorem tax more than doubled, to $580,031, but its millage only decreased .01 mill. Johnson Bayou/Holly Beach Fire District #10 decreased its millage by .03, but due to increased taxable value is estimated to increase its tax income by $433,164, to $1.8 million.

Millages for the Lowry, Klondike and Grand Chenier fire districts remained at or near the same, with little change in income.