Audit: BPSB millage taxes are too high - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Audit: BPSB millage taxes are too high

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BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

A Bossier Parish School Board financial audit has found that property taxes for the district meant to raise funds for building schools may be too high.

Bossier Parish property owners pay property taxes called millages. A millage is a tax rate on property, assessed in mills per dollar. In 2012 voters approved of a renewal for a 13.55 millage tax. That money goes to a 10-year, $210 million dollar school construction program.

Construction for projects like Kingston Elementary School in North Bossier Parish are exactly what the BPSB says the money from the millages will be used for. But in an audit released to the public Monday, auditors question whether the millages are too high. 

The auditors report, prepared by CPA's Allen, Green & Williamson out of Monroe, found the millage fund account has way too much money in it.  Auditors point out that could mean the millage tax is too high and the school board may be breaking a state law that makes sure millages are reasonable.  
The BPSB's financial director Frank Rougeau says the extra money comes from selling bonds to finance projects at lower than expected interest rates. "That money is necessary to have the funds to be able to meet the principle and interest payments, just like you were paying a mortgage on your home, just on a larger scale," said Rougeau. 
     
The auditors recommend lowering the millages, but Rougeau doesn't agree. "The current millage is necessary to be able to sustain the program and build all of the schools we told voters we would build," Rougeau said, adding that they will get rid of extra money by selling more bonds this year.  

School leaders say the account will be where it should be by June 30 of this year. This finding wasn't the only one cited, click here to read the full report. 

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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