The Washington Parish Council met Monday (November 14, 2022) evening and acted on numerous Agenda items but most of the meeting dealt with applications for Industrial Tax Exemptions submitted by two solar projects. Beginning at 3:50 into video of the meeting, the Council heard from representatives of applicants Sunlight Road Solar, LLC and Bogalusa West PVI, LLC, as well as numerous parish residents opposed to the applications and projections made by the applicants.
The matter of taxes from these solar panel farms (and more are in the works) is a big dollar one: permit fees, substantial sales tax revenue and even more in property taxes. From just the Sunlight Road Solar project, the representative quoted $700,000 in permit fees (a one time deal), $1.5 million-to $2 million in sales taxes (a one time deal), and $30 million in property taxes over the life of the project (a figure disputed by others who spoke).
While the Industrial Tax Exemptions have been approved on the State level, the three taxing entities in Washington Parish can approve or reject. The entities are the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office (which have rejected the applications), the Washington Parish School Board (which has tabled the matter in order to get more information), and the Washington Parish Council.
Each application was considered separately. In the end, the Council rejected the application by Sunlight Road Solar, LLC. However, the Council delayed action on the Bogalusa West PVC, LLC application until the December 12, 2022 Council Meeting in order to obtain more information.
In other business, the Council
- heard from parish resident Richard Magee
- heard from resident Jackie Tate
- approved an ordinance to amend the 2022 annual operating budget
- introduced two ordinances: one approving the contract for disaster debris removal and disposal services and one requiring the Washington Parish Clerk of Court and Washington Parish Sheriff to impose, collect and remit certain filing fees pursuant to Louisiana revised statute 33:1236(55)(a) as amended
- approved five resolutions of appointment to boards
- approved a resolution authorizing the Washington Parish Government to apply for and administer a grant through the Louisiana Governor’s Assistance Program
Parish President Thomas and his staff provided reports, beginning at 1:19:30 into video of the meeting.
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