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|Council expected to vote to lower millage rate|
The Monroe City Council is expected to vote to reduce its general alimony millage rate next week.
The city council is scheduled to meet Sept. 9, at Monroe City Hall. The pre-council meeting begins at 6 p.m. The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m.
Last week, the city council agreed to wait on adopting a firm millage rate when every member of the council was present. Councilman Arthur Gilmore did not attend the city council's Aug. 26 meeting.
Following last week's regular meeting, the four councilmen who attend the Aug. 26 meeting indicated they were in favor of lowering the city's general alimony millage rate. The millage generates money for the city's general fund.
Mayor Jamie Mayo, though, said he was opposed to lowering the general alimony millage rate. If the council agreed to lower the rate, Mayo said he would veto it.
As reported in The Ouachita Citizen's Aug. 28, issue, Councilman Jay Marx is in favor of lowering the general alimony millage rate from 10.84 mills to 10.24 mills.
Councilman Ben Katz also is in favor of lowering the current rate to 10.24 mills.
Marx said he is willing to compromise and lower the rate to 10.70 mills.
Last year, the council lowered its general alimony rate from 11.11 mills to 10.84 mills.
During discussions last year, Katz proposed to lower that millage rate to 10.24 mills, but that decision was opposed by Mayo and his administration.
David Barnes, the city's director of administration, has repeatedly told the council the city would face financial difficulty if the general alimony millage rate was lowered to 10.24 mills.
According to Barnes, if the city were to lower the millage rate to 10.24 mills, it would cost the city some $225,000 annually.
Katz has said he does not believe reducing the general alimony millage rate to 10.24 mills would harm city finances in any way.
He also said it would send a positive signal to the business community and to city residents that the city is willing to give taxpayers some relief.
Katz pointed out the city will ask Monroe voters to approve six tax proposals in the Nov. 4 election. He said reducing the general alimony millage rate may help convince some residents to approve the taxes.
The election in November will decide the fate of five tax renewal propositions and a new tax measure to help pay for the construction of a new terminal at the Monroe Regional Airport.
The five tax renewals include a 10-year, 2.50 mills property tax to pay a part of the cost of operating and maintaining the Monroe Civic Center; a 10-year, 2.50 mills property tax renewal for operating and maintaining the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo; a 10-year, 3.25 mills property tax to pay a part of capital improvements; a 10-year, 1.50 mills property tax for additional support for the Monroe Police Department; and a 10-year 1.50 mills property tax for additional support to the Monroe Fire Department.
The new proposal for Monroe Regional Airport's terminal project is a 10-year, 1.00 mill property tax, which would generate $372,317 annually.