Sulphur council increases property taxes

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - The Sulphur City Council voted to raise property taxes to the maximum of just over 15 mills Monday evening.

The increase comes as parish tax assessors prepare to re-evaluate property values in 2012, which means local governments could lose their ability to raise rates because of state law.

"This is something that has to be done under this four-year assessment cycle," said Sulphur Mayor Chris Duncan. "We're at the mercy of the state legislature. So we're just doing what the state tells us to do in order to protect this millage rate."

This will give the city about $1.6 million in tax revenue, with $300,000 more in property taxes because of the increase.

Duncan said the money collected from the property taxes will be divided between street maintenance, the fire department and the general fund.

The council also voted to raise garbage collection fees by 50 cents per month, or six dollars per year.

"It will bring the total water, sewage and trash bill for the citizens of Sulphur to $45.50 starting July 1st," said Duncan.

In addition, the council extended a moratorium on permits for mobile homes until the city's master plan is finished.

"Some of those aren't HUD-certified," said Duncan. "We want to make sure that they are HUD certified to protect the citizens of Sulphur. If it's a legitimate trailer, we're going to allow it come in. The main focus on this was the FEMA trailers."

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