In the continuing look at how Bossier Parish governments are financed, today’s focus is the Bossier Parish Police Jury (BPPJ) and the Bossier Parish Assessor.
Like Bossier City, the Jury’s annual operating budget heavily relies on ad valorem and sales taxes. A constitutionally authorized general maintenance property tax is levied outside Bossier City at 2.68 mills, and inside the city at 1.34 mills. Additionally, the Jury collects four more dedicated property taxes as follows:
- n 2.01 mills for road maintenance
- n 7.57 mills for library maintenance
- n .83 mills for health unit maintenance
- n 3.00 mills for corrections facilities
The Jury also levies a 1.5 percent sales tax, for rural Bossier Parish only, for road maintenance; proceeds of a .5 percent parish-wide sales tax are split between the Jury (70 percent) and the Bossier Sheriff’s Office (30 percent) for capital improvements. And the Jury collects a .25 percent sales tax (excluding Bossier City) that is passed directly to the Parish EMS system.
Sales tax revenues account for 38 percent of the Jury’s operating budget, while ad valorem tax collections make up 31 percent of the operating budget.
According to Sheryl Thomas, Police Jury Treasurer, who provided the Jury’s revenue source information, average (2010-2012) annual receipts of riverboat and slot revenues of $2.03 million have been dedicated to such projects as:
- n Feasibility study for a Bossier Parish MPC Boundary Expansion
- n Barksdale AFB Joint Land Use Study
- n Bodcau Dam Control Structure
- n Camp Minden Water Study
- n Regional Water Study with Caddo Parish
- n Lawson Bo Brandon Sports Complex, and
- n Oil/Gas Noise Ordinance
Intergovernmental revenues are used for recurring administration, operating expenses,
and project funding. Examples include capital outlay funds for the North-South Corridor-Swan Lake Road Extension, and state Department of Transportation and Development helped fund the Bossier Shared Use Trail in north Bossier.
Between this review of the Jury’s operating revenue stream and notable projects, along with last week’s look at recent Jury projects and plans – it seems clear that this governmental body is a responsible steward of taxpayer resources.
The same can be said for the Bossier Parish Assessor’s office, which relies almost exclusively on a 3.36 mill ad valorem tax to fund operations. This millage generates about $3 million a year in revenue to support the Assessor’s operations. Fees generated from the Assessor’s website by professional users (abstractors, realtors, etc.) also provides an additional, albeit small source of revenue to the office.
Assessor Bobby Edmiston’s office has a staff of about 20 employees, who work in a variety of areas. From field appraisers, who actually go out and measure buildings as they’re being constructed, to technical staff who maintain the website, to staff members who work with the public – and those who staff the transfer department.
In the “you learn something new every day,” Deputy Assessor Michelle Rodgers explained that the transfer department ensures that the sale of every piece of property recorded in the Bossier Parish Clerk of Court’s conveyance records is correctly transferred in the Assessor’s records – and maps containing that conveyed property are updated to reflect the new ownership.
Moreover, the Assessor’s website is also updated (thus the need for a technical staff).
That was just a small bit of information Rodgers shared; obviously, the Assessor’s work is a little more involved than just assessing the value of property.