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|Police jury to call for 1.8 mill property tax|
The Ouachita Parish Police Jury has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, July 16, to consider placing a property tax measure on the Oct 17 ballot for parish voters to consider.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the police jury's meeting room on the second floor of the Ouachita Parish Courthouse.
If voters approve the proposed 1.8 mill property tax, revenues generated by the tax will finance a $15-million incentives package, which helped lure V-Vehicle, an automobile manufacturer, to the former Guide plant. The tax is not to exceed 15 years.
The cities of Monroe and West Monroe along with the Ouachita Parish Police Jury pledged up to $15 million as part of the incentives package for V-Vehicle. The state pledged some $70 million toward the V-Vehicle project.
Police jury president Shane Smiley said the proposed property tax would generate roughly $1.45 million annually. He believes Ouachita Parish could pay off the local financial obligation within 10 years.
V-Vehicle officially announced last month it would take over the former Guide plant in eastern Ouachita Parish, creating 1,400 new, direct jobs and 1,800 indirect jobs. V-Vehicle says it will manufacture fuel efficient automobiles at the former Guide facility, which is located off Interstate 20 in eastern Ouachita.
Smiley said the benefit of having V-Vehicle locate in Ouachita Parish and employ 1,400 people far outweighed the local financial obligation. He said the company is expected to bring $136 million in tax revenue to Ouachita Parish over the next 15 years.
"It is truly a blessing that we were able to get this company here," Smiley said. "I think this is just the start of the transition for our community. This will be a huge building block for us to build of off."
Local officials will now focus on presenting the proposed property tax to the public to entertain discussion on "what we are doing, why we are doing it and why we need the community's support," Smiley said.