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Early voting for the Aug. 15 municipal primary election is underway with a Monroe City Council race and a $42-million bond issue for the parish school system in eastern Ouachita Parish on the ballot.

Voters can participate in early voting until Saturday, Aug. 8, except on Sunday, Aug. 2. The period of early voting was extended by six days by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ emergency election plan.

Voting on election day will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

OPSB tax proposal

Eastern Ouachita Parish voters will consider a proposal from the Ouachita Parish School Board to incur $42 million in bonded indebtedness secured by a 36-mill property tax.

The bond proceeds would be used for capital improvements in eastern Ouachita, according to school officials.

The School Board currently levies a 36-mill property tax in the East Ouachita School District. The $42-million bond proposition would not increase the property tax rate beyond 36 mills but would constitute a new tax burden on taxpayers.

School officials and the School Board’s legal counsel have noted the new proposal would not impose an increase beyond what property owners currently pay.

If approved, the School Board would incur $42 million in general obligation bonds, not revenue bonds.

Governing entities incurring debt through general obligation bonds have the authority to use any resources to pay off the debt.

City Council race

Meanwhile, voters from the city of Monroe’s District 4 will decide the outcome of a run-off between Carday Marshall Sr. and Jesse Smith for a vacant spot on the Monroe City Council. Marshall works as a retail manager at the University of Louisiana-Monroe while Smith is a local minister and educator.

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