What you need to know about the upcoming sales tax election

NOTE – This is the fourth part of a series published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal regarding the upcoming sales tax election. Over the next several weeks we will look at among other things: what a sales tax represents, how the tax is derived, why parish officials feel that an increase is needed, where the additional funds will be applied and when the new tax rate, if approved, will take effect. Today – How is revenue generated for various Police Jury funds?

A proposed yearly budget for the Jackson Parish Police Jury is an extension of budgets previously adopted by the Police
Jury for the operation of the various departments or areas of expenditures. It is important to know and understand exactly how the revenue for each is raised, especially when considering the question of whether an increase in the sales tax is needed. Below is a listing of the various departments the Police Jury funds and where the revenue for each is derived from.

GENERAL FUND: The General Fund is the main operating fund of the Police Jury. The General Fund provides the funding
for the Police Jury, staff, court system, buildings, building code, prisoner maintenance, and other general governmental
obligations. Revenue for the fund is derived primarily from a millage tax and severance taxes. Major concerns are the continued expenses of housing prisoners in the parish correctional facility and the declining collection of General Severance Tax revenue. These major factors will determine the General Fund’s ability to promote additional services for the citizens.

ROAD FUND: The Road Fund is the fund that provides funds for the maintenance and improvement of parish roads and bridges. The fund provides funds for salaries, benefits, gravel, culverts, equipment leases and payments, vehicle purchases and maintenance, and other necessary expenses of maintaining roads and bridges in the Parish Road System. Revenue for the fund is derived primarily from a millage tax and state road fund payments.

ASPHALT SALES TAX FUND: The asphalt sales tax fund is the fund that provides funding for asphalting roads in the Parish
Road System. Revenue for the fund is derived from a .4% sales tax. The 10 year sales tax will expire on June 30, 2026. Proceeds from the asphalt sales tax fund will be used for the purpose of asphalting roads within the parish system in accordance with the Parish Road Priority List as adopted by the Jury in accordance with Louisiana’s Parish Transportation Act.

LIBRARY FUND: The Library Fund provides the funds for the operation and maintenance of the Jackson Parish Library. The library is under the direction of the Library Board of Control and the Board approves the expenditure of funds. Based on a recommendation of the Jury’s auditors, the Jackson Parish Police Jury has reduced the original Library’s millage rate to reduce their excess surplus.

ASPHALT FUND: The Asphalt Fund is the fund that provides funds for the maintenance, repair, and improvement of
asphalt roads in the Parish Road System. Revenue for the fund is derived from a millage tax.

HEALTH UNIT FUND: The Health Unit Fund is the fund that provides funds for the local operation and maintenance of
the Jackson Parish Health Unit. The Police Jury owns the building occupied by the health unit. Because of state budget
cuts, the Police Jury has employed 3 persons to provide services that were formerly provided by state employees. The
Police Jury called for a new .75 mill tax for the Health Unit in November 2012 which was approved by the voters.
Approval of the millage allowed for the continued service to the citizens and reduced the drain of General Funds.

TOURISM FUND: The Tourism Fund provides for the promotion of tourism within Jackson Parish. The Tourism Fund is
under the direction of the Tourism Board and the Board approves all expenditures of the fund. The Tourism Fund will be
largely dependent upon the General Fund for continued operation; it also receives a small appropriation annually from
the State of Louisiana in support of tourism.

LANDFILL CLOSURE FUND: The Landfill Closure Fund was established by the Police Jury to fund the closure of the Jackson
Parish Construction Debris Landfill at the end of it useful life. The State requires that the Jury fund the closure of the
landfill. The Police Jury felt that they should establish a fund to assure that the funds are available to close the landfill when required. The approximate amount needed for closure, calculated by the Parish Engineer in 2019, was $716,000.00.

SOLID WASTE FUND: The Solid Waste Fund provides funds for the operation of the solid waste system in Jackson Parish.
Currently, the Police Jury operates the solid waste system utilizing a container system. The Police Jury has container
sites located throughout the parish and the containers are emptied by compactor trucks. The solid waste is then hauled
to the Jackson Parish Transfer Station and emptied into trailers. Once a trailer is full, it is hauled to the Union Parish
Landfill. Revenue for this fund is derived from a .6% sales tax. The sales tax will expire on June 30, 2026.

CAPITAL FUND: The Capital Fund is an extension of the General Fund created by the Police Jury. Funds are transferred
from the General Fund into the Capital Fund to fund capital projects.

OFFICE OF EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: The Office of Emergency Preparedness fund was created during 2003 to
accommodate the increase in federal funding for emergency preparedness and homeland security. State revenue now
provides less than 50% of the required financing of the day-to-day operation of the OEP office with the General Fund
providing the majority of the funding.

FEDERAL GRANTS FUND: All Federal Grants are maintained within the Federal Grants Fund. Grants are requested on a continual as need basis.

LAW ENFORCEMENT WITNESS FEE FUND: The Louisiana legislature enacted legislation mandating that no general fund
monies are to be used in funding the payment of witness fees for law enforcement officers. A separate fund has been
established to account for all revenue and payments of off-duty law enforcement officers.

STATUTORY RESERVE FUND: The Jury recognized the importance of preparing for unforeseen events that could
adversely affect the financial condition of the Jackson Parish Police Jury. The transfer or expenditure of the reserve fund
requires a 2/3 vote of the jury.

GRAND JURY / PETIT JURY EXPENSE FUND: This fund reimburses citizens who are subpoenaed as petit jurors / grand
jurors for criminal court cases in the Second Judicial District in Jackson Parish. These funds are maintained in a separate
bank account from the master fund. The expense of this is solely funded by the parish’s general fund.

CORONER’S OFFICE FUND: Because of increasing costs, a separate fund within the Master Account has been created to
provide the Coroner with better management control over their financial activity and expenses. The majority of funding
Jackson Parish Police Jury is provided through a transfer of General Funds. The Coroner’s Office bills municipalities for expenses incurred within the respective towns to provide additional funds.

ROAD DEBT SERVICE FUND: This fund is used to pay the cost of the Certificates of Indebtedness. Funds are
transferred from the Road Sales Tax Fund for the annual cost of principal and interest. The cost is for principal and
interest owed with a required transfer from the Road Sales Tax Fund.

LIVESTOCK & PAVILION FUND: In 2015, the Jury approved the transfer of $250,000 from the Statutory Reserve Fund and
created the Livestock & Pavilion Fund. The purpose is to supplement the Recreation District’s Capital Outlay Project for
the construction of a Livestock Pavilion and Riding Arena pending final approval from the State of Louisiana’s Capital
Outlay program. Each year for a request for funding is submitted to the state, but it has yet to be funded. The Police Jury and Recreation District board have complied with all of the state’s requests for this project. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *