Members of the Webster Parish Police Jury are urging voters in the north end of the parish to vote yes on a tax continuation for Road District B Tax in the fall.
The jury approved a resolution Tuesday calling for the special election to be held on Saturday, Oct. 14.
The money collected from the tax can only be used for roads and bridges and drainage in Ward Two and cannot be used any place else other than in the north end of the parish.
The Road District A tax passed in December 2016 with 58 percent; however, north Webster Parish voters said no with 52 percent of the vote for the Road District B tax.
Following the December election, jurors blamed the tax renewal’s defeat on the lack of knowledge of voters on the importance of the renewal and said they planned on bringing it back before voters.
The taxes from both districts make up approximately 25 percent of the parish road budget.
“We use this money to help supplement the money we get from the state through our transportation fund, which has been declining,” police jury president Jim Bonsall said before the December 2016 election. “That’s why it’s so important these renewals pass. This has been a very stable source of funding to help maintain our roads.”
The tax, originally enacted in 1972, is a 10-year renewal and currently stands at 3.92 mill. It will bring in an estimated $414,600 dollars a year to be used for road and bridge maintenance in the north end.
Road District B includes areas north of the Couchwood area and includes Springhill, Cullen, Cotton Valley, Sarepta and Shongaloo.
Bonsall said the tax not only generates money for parish roads, but also provides municipality funding.
“This funding is very important because it helps us to do a lot of road work in the parish. Plus, this is where municipality funding comes from,” he said. “We give each municipality $16,000 worth of road materials and help out with the installation.”
Towns and communities can use municipality funding as they see fit, as long as it is used for roads, bridges or drainage.
“We can’t maintain the whole parish with these funds,” he said. “Without it, it will be very hard to keep providing the services that we have been.”