Alexandria city council proposes recreation programming tax - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Alexandria city council proposes recreation programming tax

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Monday the Alexandria City Council discussed an election for a new tax that would bring youth sports programming to the city. 

The council has passed a resolution that approves an election to authorize a new millage tax to fund parks and recreation activities in the city.

"Alexandria has long has a lot of good green space, a lot of capital structures in place that serve recreation and leisure time needs," said Mayor Jacques Roy. "What we lack is programming."

Youth sports programs like golf, swimming, tennis, and baseball are just a few that would be structured and funded by the city under this tax.

"Know that the child is going to be participating in something worthwhile," Mayor Roy said. "Making sure that the child is not then sitting with a bunch of idle time."

This millage would take the place of a property tax that was funding the public safety complex. The proposal states that it could be the same 2.15 mills, or up to 6 mills. That means property owners would be paying between about $22 and $60 per $100,000 of property per year.

Councilman Harry Silver says, the benefits would be varied, and important.

"It's a way of life," Silver said. "Also would curtail the crime rate we've had, because once people are occupied with things of that nature of an interest, they don't have time to get into trouble."

And any amount approved more than three mills would go to the Alexandria Zoo, relieving some of the pressure on the city's budget for zoo upkeep.

"We all want the same thing," said Jim Smilie, president of the Friends of the Alexandria Zoo. "We want the Alexandria Zoo to be the best that it can be for our community, and that requires dollars. So it's just a matter of finding the best way to fund that."

Mayor Roy says, the final decision will be up to the people of Alexandria.

"The public will give us their wishes at the ballot box as it should be."

The exact millage rate will be determined early next year, with the vote being in April. 

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