ALBANY, La. (BRPROUD)– One school district in Livingston Parish hopes to pass a new sales tax to pay for upgrades.
“The first time that it was going to come on the ballot was right after Hurricane Ida and didn’t feel like it was fair to ask, you know, passed people to pay a tax right,” said Livingston Parish School Board member Dr. Devin Gregoire.
Gregoire said Albany High, Middle, and Elementary schools need a hand to complete a few improvement projects, and passing a half a cent sales tax this April could be the solution.
The school district wants to build a separate cafeteria for the upper and lower elementary schools because there’s not enough space.
“Some of the times these kids are starting eating at 10 a.m. and the cafeteria is not getting done until 1 p.m. or after one,” Gregoire explained.
Albany alumnus Trapper Kinchen says other schools in the parish are moving forward and Albany needs to get on board.
“Always have to remember that nothing good has ever been born out of fear…fear of change, fear of progress. I think if you embrace things and you help shepherd growth, it’s always good,” he said.
They’ve looked to put some dollars toward athletics, which Ross Kinchen said needs to happen on the East side of the parish, as others like Denham Springs are currently renovating their facilities.
“Maurepas, French Settlement Holden Springfield, Albany… there’s no track facility, and the opportunity to have that here in Albany would be phenomenal,” he said.
Many residents said the population of Albany is growing and a half of a cent is just the investment they need for the future of the town.
“Their bringing in money, they’re bringing in new perspectives, but where do we educate all these kids?” Trapper asked.
“I think it’s a problem that needs to be solved as far as the school system and the infrastructure. You could only hold so much, so many students,” added Ross.
However, some in the community felt that taxing isn’t the way to go.
“Nobody likes taxes. But if you think about it, it is $0.01 on $2,” said Gregoire.
The sales tax would only apply inside the school district.
“The money spent in our district stays in our district. It’s not going to the west side of the parish. It’s the money that you spend here in our district that stays and supports our kids,” said Ross.
Only those within the district can vote on this tax. Early voting ends Saturday and general voting is on April 30.