Thanks to the hard work of our students and teachers, and the overwhelming support of our community, Zachary Community Schools received the number one ranking in the state for the eighth straight year this fall. We could not have accomplished this without the continued efforts of the people of this community.
Although I have only served as superintendent for a short time, I have witnessed the outpouring of support for our schools during my nine years here in Zachary.
The Zachary Community School District continues to be a model of excellence for school districts around our state. Our teachers and staff provide first-rate instruction, and our students are exposed to rich and varied learning experiences. The quality of education provided to our students is an investment in their future success and in the growth of our city.
When the Zachary Community School District separated from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, the voters approved a 38.2 mill ad valorem property tax to fund the district’s general operating budget. The 38.2 mill rate was at that time, and remains today, identical to the tax paid throughout East Baton Rouge Parish. These funds provide materials for instruction as well as salaries and benefits for employees, which together comprise more than 80 percent of the district’s annual budget.
The tax generates about $7.6 million annually, and costs $287 per year after the homestead exemption for a property owner with a home valued at $150,000.
In my talks with members of the community, I have noted some confusion about the purpose of the millage, and realized that I needed to provide some clarity for voters. The 38.2 mill ad valorem property tax approved to fund the district’s general operating budget must be renewed every 10 years. The renewal proposition will be on the Dec. 8 ballot. This funding is critical to supporting the continued vision of excellence for the Zachary Community School District.
The tax you will be deciding on Dec. 8 supports the day-to-day operational costs of running the school district. It is not for construction or facility improvements. Construction is supported through a separate 36 mill bond debt service tax. We are fortunate to be nearing the end of our building plan. The facilities we have constructed will serve the students of this community for the next 20 years of growth.
We will continue to be good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with by this community. I take our commitment to the taxpayers of this district very seriously.
I am confident that the investment you are making in the future of this community through your continued support of our schools will pay dividends.
I ask you to continue to help make sure that the greatest days of Zachary Community Schools are yet to come.