LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – The Livingston Parish Educational Facilities Improvement District (EFID) board met Monday, November 28 and voted in favor of seeking approval of a one-cent sales tax that would fund pay raises for Livingston Parish School System employees.

The proposed sales tax will be exempted from all Parish groceries, prescriptions, and fuel sales. In addition to this, it would not impact those sales taxes levied by local government political entities.

Superintendent Joe Murphy said the limited one-cent sales tax is expected to generate approximately $24 million annually.

It would support pay raises for all school employees, increasing their earnings by ten percent or a minimum $2,500 annual increase.

Officials in favor of the sales tax and pay increase believe it would make Livingston a more appealing choice to educators in search of career opportunities.

In this regard, EFID Board Chairman Thomas “Bruiser” Bryson of Springfield said, “We have looked at the books, and we’ve compared the salaries our school system currently pays to what’s being paid in neighboring school districts, and it’s clear – we’re fighting a losing battle right now.”

“We are seeing our qualified, experienced teachers leave for higher pay,” Bryson continued. “We cannot continue to have our very best teachers ‘cherry-picked’ by these other school systems. We must do what is necessary to keep the teachers and bring in the best candidates coming out of our local colleges.”

The board voted in favor of the measure, 8-1.