Jefferson Parish Voters Support Millage, Sales Tax Renewals
JEFFERSON, LA – On Saturday, Dec. 10, voters in Jefferson Parish approved the renewals of the drainage millage, recreation millage and the 1 percent sales tax. Part of this success is due to the intense campaign that had the Yenni Administration, the Jefferson Parish Council, the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and their Political Action Committee and the Jefferson Business Council spread across the parish working hand in hand educating the public and various boards and publications on the initiatives, Jefferson Parish government officials said. As the Parish educated the public, the business community was extremely active through the Chamber and the Business Council raising funds and advocating on behalf of the renewals.
"The renewals had the endorsement of the New Orleans Advocate, Times Picayune/NOLA.com, the Gambit and the Bureau of Governmental Research; however, we had to get the word out and work with our business leaders to ensure success," President Michael S. Yenni said.
President Yenni said he wants to recognize the leaders of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the Jefferson Business Council for stepping up and taking a leadership role in promoting and advocating for these vital renewals. “I cannot express my appreciation enough to all the Jefferson Parish Directors and members of the Executive Staff that worked diligently, some nights covering two or three presentations simultaneously,” he said.
Yenni lobbied to get the renewals on the ballot in January when he first took office. Both millages were set to expire Dec. 31, which would have left Jefferson Parish residents in a bad position, Jefferson Parish government officials said. "These millages should have been put out to vote last year," Yenni said.
The sales tax renewal was added after the initiative was researched by the business community and the Yenni administration. It was determined that by renewing the tax and bonding it out, the parish would realize approximately 105 million dollars in federal matching funds through grants, bringing about immediate infrastructure improvements and savings in long term escalating finance and construction costs. This would come with no increase to the existing tax.
“We realized it was the fiscally prudent thing to do, especially given the state of the state's capital outlay program,” Yenni said. “We know we have to think outside the box.”
The sales tax renewal will support over 300 million dollars in roadway and sewerage construction and enhancements, as well as provide funding for law enforcement, Jefferson Parish government officials said.