Parish, City, Sheriff still working on common area tax agreement

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

The Ascension Parish Council agreed to draft and send a counter proposal to the City of Donaldsonville in regards to the Intergovernmental Agreement by and between the City of Donaldsonville, the Ascension Parish Law Enforcement District, the Ascension Parish Rural Sales Tax District, and Ascension Parish Sales Tax District number two for the sharing of sales tax revenue in the common area of Donaldsonville.

The City of Donaldsonville Mayor and Council sent the parish a proposal hoping to continue with previous agreement the sides held for ten years. However, Parenton alerted the council it could not agree to Donaldsonville’s proposal.

“That agreement expired and you set out an ordinance which determined how you are going to share taxes,” Parenton said. “Once this agreement expired you would then have to go to the ordinance. You can make recommendations on to amend the ordinance, but you can’t violate your own ordinance.”

Parish President Tommy Martinez reminded the council currently the annexed area in Donaldsonville, where the Wal-Mart is located, under the previous agreement had to reach a benchmark of $1.75 million before the parish or the sheriff got any of the taxes. Martinez said for the first eight years the City of Donaldsonville collected 100 percent of the taxes because they didn’t reach the benchmark. The last couple years the parish and sheriff have been getting some funds from that area, according to Martinez.

“Under our ordinance they would be grandfathered in at the 50/50 rather than the new ordinance at .75,” Martinez said. “We can collect if we want to do something. An alternate agreement would be to collect .50 on our one-cent sales tax and our half-cent road tax which amounts to .75.”

“The Sheriff said he would be okay with the .25 of his .50 and the City of Donaldsonville could do whatever it wanted to do,” Martinez said. “If they want to stay at nine percent they could cut theirs in half or they could keep their full tax at 10 percent.”

If Donaldsonville’s leaders approve the parish’s counter proposal the tax would reduce in the common area. If not, Martinez said the parish will “stay where we are and collect 100 percent of our taxes and they’ll be at 11 percent.”

Martinez said the parish has to be consistent with all municipalities.

“We’re going to have to amend our ordinance to say that, but before we amend our ordinance I want to send the agreement to the city to see if they are agreeable,” Martinez said.